This material was written over several decades. There are some repetitions but with some changes.

The abbreviations, for example, ChCh, OTC, NTC, TChJCh, WT referring to certain manuscripts which are now included in some of the domains. WT is referring to the book The Witness of the Times.


The Church Takes Stand I


I. Pastoral Issues

II. The present condition of the Faithful departed

III.  Occult Voices from the East

IV. Secret organizations

V. Non Christian Sects

VI. Christian Sects

VII. Meditation on the Bible

VIII. Supplement



The Church Takes Stand II

[Bible insights/House Church/Prayer service/Occult practices/Definition and characteristics of sects...cults/etc.]



[Meditation/Liturgy/The Three Existence-mode of Christ/Israel/The Divine Liturgy of the Church/So called modern music/Creation versus evolution/The concept of family/Every human being has a purpose/The Passover Mail/Modern music - /The God intended relationship between man and woman/The Original Church/ The relationship of man and woman in marriage/etc.]



[Holy Spirit/Turning to God is a process/The Apostles of Jesus the Christ/The Holy Spirit indwells believers/etc.]



[Jesus fulfils the Law and the Prophets/The restoration of the church/Biblical position of the woman/The leading-up events to the Second Coming of Christ/Haling ministry of Jesus and the Church/etc.]



[Israel - a Biblical prospective (a study)/Faith and reason/dedication of an infant/Thoughts to consider.../The Holy Spirit is a person/The Church/Angels, satan and demons/What is rapture?/There are THREE Judgments/The Sacraments of Christian Initiation/Endangered marriages   -   endangered families/Peter's profession of faith (see Mt 16,13-18a)/Mary Mother of Jesus (Lk 1;2)/The Apostles are:/ A Biblical Response to Multiculturalism/ etc.]



[History of Israel/The feast of Israel/The Seventy Weeks/Jerusalem in the salvation-plan of God/ The Seventy Weeks/Rapture/...the names the Ancients gave.../The Feast of Israel/ The Suffering and the Glory of the Servant (cont)/Labour (movement)/The First and the Second Coming of Christ based on the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments/ My Life (an autobiography)/etc.]



In these chapters there are several repetitions (perhaps complementing each other)

[The so called 'Stolen Generation'/Democracy/ The land of the aboriginals'/Palestinians/The Jews/Arabs and Islam/International terrorism/The European Union/ The United Nations/The council of Churches...religions/The free of love and salvation/...four different spirits/Islam/Scientology/etc.]Can you teach me to pray?/Sects/Churches/The Eucharist/

The Church Takes Stand I



2. Christian Burial

3. Intercession

4. The Divine structure

5. The Structure of the Church on the "grass-root level"

6. The Church and the Priesthood

7. Isolated "Christians" and the Church

8. Conversion

9. Rules and Discipline

10. The Task of the Church

11. Faith and Healing

12. God is normally in the normal

13. The Healing Gift of the Church

14. Liberation-ministry

15. Understanding ourselves and others

16. Church and Security

17. Christian Concept of Work - also a therapeutical concept

18. The Truth makes free

19. What is Sickness?

20. Suffering from Christian Perspective

21. Fundamental Principles of Team-communication

22. Growth

23. Psychotherapy and Christian Counseling

24. Parents and Adult "Children"

25. Our Christian Fundaments

b. Jesus and His ministry

c. Paul the Apostle and his ministry

d. The Early Church

e. Mary and her ministry

26. The Essenes - the Dead Sea Scrolls

28. AIDS (and homosexuality)

II. The present condition of the Faithful departed/the "final" things

1. The place of the Faithful Departed

2. The First Resurrection

3. The Last Judgment

4. The Individual Judgment

5. The Special Status of the Christian Martyrs

6. The First Fruits/ the Harvest/ the Vintage

7. The Millennial Kingdom in the Light of Tradition

8. The "falling away first"/ the Antichrist/ the Mystery Babylon/ the Two

Witnesses/ the Hour of Temptation/ Armageddon/ the Advent hope of the

Primitive Church/ the Hope and Disappointment of the Apostles/ Through

the Centuries.../ "Do ye not know..."/ Regeneration

III. Occult - Voices from the East - Sects

1. Walk in the Light of Christ

2. Voices from the East: Acupuncture/ I Ch'ing/ Yoga/ Martial Arts/

3. Other Voices from the East: Sanskrit Mantra/ Hare Krishna/ Gurus/ Bahia, etc.

4. Some of the Eastern Cults: "Orange People"/ Hare Krishna/ the Baha'is/

the New Age Movement (including modern music and remarks to protect our children)

IV. Secret Organizations

Fraternal groups


The Blue Lodge

V. Other Religions




Primitive Religions


VI. Non-Christian Sects

1. Mormons

2. Jehovah's Witnesses

3. Adventists

4. Liberation Theology

VII. Christian Sects

A. Group

1. Darbysten

2. The Community of Evangelical Baptists

3. The Congregation of God

4. The Congregation of Christ

5. Evangelical Union of Brothers

6. The Church of the Nazarene

7. The Philadelphia Movement

8. Congregation of Christians, Ecclesia

B/C Group


1. Mission-work of Werner Henkelbach

2. Mission-work of "Midnight-call"

3. World-wide Church of God

C. Healing-evangelization D. The Pentecostal Experience

a. Introduction

b. The Catholic-Apostolic Church

c. The New Apostolic-Church

d. The so called "Apocalyptic" Congregation

VIII. Meditation on the Bible

1. The God of Comfort

2. The Way of the Cross

3. The Holy Trinity - a special view

Closing words - see Introduction

IX. Supplement

1. Creation or Evolution?

2. Rock Music

3. Bible Insights



The Church has to instruct and take stands on all issues. The believer has the right to know the truth. In this book there are no "closing words". The Apostle-college will continually inform and teach the Church about rising issues as they occur.

I. Pastoral issues

It is important for the Church to teach and to take her stand in the world. God said: "My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge", Hos 4,6. Let us now examine some important issues in order to build up the Congregation of Christ.

a. Specific issues

1. Anointing

Here we will mention only the anointing of people as a consecration and preparation for a task. Such anointing was granted to the Kings, 1 Sam 16,1; 1 Ki 1,34 and Prophets in the Old Testament. Elijah had to anoint Elisha as his successor according to God's command, 1 Ki 19,16. Aaron and all those who followed in his office were anointed with Holy Oil to become the High Priests of Israel, Ex 28,41.43b.

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed and King, Lk 4,18; Acts 4,27;10,38; Hebr 1,9. Like Jesus, thus His Apostles too are anointed with the Holy Spirit, 2 Cor 1,21f, and also the followers of the Christ.

2. Christian Burial

Compare 1 Thess 4,

Our honoring the departed rests on the Christian faith and hope that they will be raised incorruptible. We believe that all Christians will spend (in their resurrected body) eternity with Christ and with each other.

The burial service for the faithful within the Church family, emphasizes our belonging together - expressing the future re-union in Christ.

Special reverence has always been given to the heroes of our faith, for instance the Martyrs. Their immortal testimony spurred the living to follow their example.

3. Intercessions

Eph 6,18: The request for prayer by the Apostle and the admonishing of the believers to pray for each other is a frequent topic in the Bible. Prayer generally and praying for each other specifically is based on the firm belief that God will answer prayer. Therefore when we are praying for somebody or something we are acting upon the promise of Jesus who said "and whatever you ask in prayer you will receive," Mt 21,22.

To make our prayer effective we have to pray according to God's will - "Thy will be done," Mt 6,10, see also Mt 26,39. We must remember that in approaching God it is also indispensable to forgive, to love, to be patient and to be humble.

4. The Divine Structure

See 1 Cor 11,3.

God the Father is the Head of Christ

Christ is the head of the husband (man)

Husband is the head of the wife and chief authority over the children

Wife is the helpmate to the husband, Gn 2,18 and second authority over the children

Children are obedient to their parents, Eph 6,1, see also Eph 6,4

"Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her," Eph 5,25 - "Wife, respect your husband," Eph 5,33

In the Congregation of the Christ, see 1 Pe 5,5; Eph 5,21.

5. The Structure of the Church on the "grass-root level"

See "Church of the Christ - People of God on the Way" - Appendix

The End Time Church of Jesus the Christ will be organized in small communities - House-churches. They will have their own worship services (but coming together with other house-churches to celebrate the Eucharist), outreach (a focus on one selves means to founder), study the Scriptures, meditation, sharing, helping each-other and others - preparing themselves and their environment for the Return of the Christ. They have to relate to each other very deeply. They have to foster the kind of love and acceptance of each other, lived by Christ and the Apostles, which is essential for personal growth.

The leaders of these House-churches are trained by the Apostle or their representatives and are closely united with each other through the Apostle-college.

The groups must be prepared for inevitable crisis and attacks - these have to be looked upon as God-given opportunities to grow. There must be a listening (to the Spirit and to each other), praying, meditating, reflection on all aspects of their life in common - constant concentration in unity on the Coming; this vision should never be lost.

These House-churches (several together) may eventually provide their own priests (trained by the Apostle or their representatives) being drawn from their own ranks.

Faith ventures:

There are those who see the challenge in the darkness of the difficulties and those who see it in the light of the Lord.

God's will have to be sought and have to be done!

- A real sense of need have to arise;

- Existing possibilities have to be explored;

- An important task is to help the rest of the Church (house church, group) to share the vision and come to the same conviction that "this is the Lord's doing";

- Attain a fellowship-commitment:

- A real prayer-involvement - prayer pledges; regular prayer meetings for the pledged purpose(s) and or prayer pledges wherever they are (possibly at the same time);

- Prayerful pledges of other sorts (money, talents, etc.) supporting the project;

- Pressing on to the end: Once we have set our hands to the task, as the Lord demanded, we will not look back, Lk 9,62.

6. The Church and the Priesthood

There is only ONE Priesthood, that is, the Priesthood of Christ! This ONE Priesthood of Christ is made present on earth through the ministerial service, that is, the Charismatic Office of the Apostle. The Priesthood of the Apostle is directly derived from the Priesthood of Christ, that is, He DIRECTLY appoints the Apostle to represent Him. The fullness of Christ's Priesthood is present in the Priesthood of the Apostle - the Apostle is His minister! The Apostle may delegate some part of his priesthood to others, but never the full extent of it. This delegation is called, under certain circumstances, ordination. As the priesthood of an Apostle is dependent on the Priesthood of Christ, so the priesthood of an ordained minister is dependent on the Priesthood of an Apostle.

Christ, the Apostles and those who were chosen by them were man!

Christ Himself chose the Apostles and shared with them His mission and authority; the Apostles chose men to help them in their ministry: The Church is bound by this choice made by the Lord Himself.

That only persons of the male sex can receive the sacrament of ordination is based on positive divine right, see 1 Cor 11,3; Eph 5,22ff.

We will consider the following thoughts:

"For I (Paul) have espoused (the church, congregation) to one husband, to Christ", 2 Cor 11,2 - the Church is the Bride, Christ is the Bridegroom.

"The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man", 1 Cor 11,3 - as a positive divine order, deeply rooted in human nature, the woman cannot be the head of man, see Eph 5,22f.

The man (bridegroom) is the type of Christ, the woman (bride) is the type of the Church.

The Apostle, the representative of the Christ, is the best-man in the Church.

"The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his bride (the Church) has made herself ready", Rev 19,7b - one day, between the Bridegroom (Christ) and the Church (Bride) a `marriage' feast will take place.

Gn 3,14-19: The curse of God remains in effect - there is no exception ("...he will rule over you..."*). The different state of human nature: 1. The state of the elevated nature, e.g. the original state of man before the Fall; 2. The sate of the fallen nature in which man lost fellowship with God; 3.* The state of restored nature - this is the state of the redeemed in Christ (certain changes can be observed, see Eph 5,22-28 see v.25). See also OT Commentary to Gn 3,14-19.

Woman's ordination

Selected thoughts on the subject:

Man is the image (type) of Christ, whom God has made Head.

The Apostle and the priest, ordained by him, represents Christ, the Bridegroom.

Woman is the type (image) of those who have been given by God to His Son - the believers, the Church.

"The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church", Eph 5,23.

"I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God", 1 Cor 11,3.

Every woman is called to be a figure or image (type) of the Church, Christ's chosen bride.

Christ is the Bridegroom; the Apostle/priest is the representant of the Bridegroom, the Church is the

Bride - how can the woman become the head and the (image) type of Christ? Bride marries the bride? (see again Rev 19,7b)

Ungodly interpreters of the Bible (not having the Spirit) are reducing the Scriptures to a cultural and contemporary "document" which must undergo changes of time and culture. In this case, as they say, the role of the women underwent substantial changes, therefore we must also change the biblical concept of the role of women. According to this reasoning, the ordination of women is "biblical".

The Word of God is eternal and is not subject to any changes! The interpretation of the Bible is solely given to the Apostle-council of the End Time Church.

As a general rule, women cannot `appear' in the church in any position where she is not under the authority of a man. Whatever they do they have to `perform' under the headship of a man. See also 1 Cor 11,3b;* 1 Tim 2,11.12.

* As a man canot be without a head (see 1 Cor 11,3a), so also the woman! Is Christ without a head? (see 1 Cor 11,3c)

7. Isolated "Christians" and the Church:

We cannot operate as individual commandos but as a "household", Eph, 2,19, that is a team!

8. Conversion

A shaking up of our (former) foundation is necessary so that the Spirit may grant us the real foundation, that is, Jesus Christ.

The breaking up of our individualism and self-sufficiency is necessary - receiving a new strength in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

We have to experience the painful awareness of the distortion of our lives.

We have to re-think and profoundly question our value system:

Christian fasting these days - is a simple and effective way to dethrone the power of the flesh (appetite).

Tithing is, at the very least, a positive and regular step to break the domination of possession over us - Christians must learn to listen (obey) to the instructions of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit speaks increasingly to Christians, calling them to a simpler life-style and the celebration of discipline.

9. Rules and Discipline

Wrongly used they constitute "works"; their right use is a route to real freedom.

We can and do make idols of anything (...of anything Christian also). Scripture, tradition, charism, saints, doctrines, etc. - their divine origin does not prevent us putting them in the place of Christ.

It is a difficult lessen to learn that what is acceptable to the world may be quite contrary to God's will, Is 55,8f.

10. The Task of the Church

A criticism of the Apostolic Church from the outside (secular, worldly) is impossible - the Church is a Divine Institution.

Loosen the Church out of the Apostolic-order and the Scripture out of the Church leads to sectarianism. The Scripture is integrated into the Church.

a. The Church is in great danger when she hopes to serve society by adapting to it - for she soon places herself under the same power.

The Church has to:

- publicly exposed the powers

- strip them of their power

- submit the powers to Christ's victory

Detect satan's working - his work is characterized by domination and or distortion - compulsion and or too much or too little!

b. The weapons to use

The weapons, the Armor of God, Eph 6,14-18:

No weapon will help if we do not use it.

The girdle of truth: Be truthful in your words, deeds and in your behavior.

The breast-plate of righteousness: Protect your heart, use self-discipline.

Having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace: Be a testimony for Jesus in word and in deed (read the Bible regularly).

Shield of faith: Take God's promises and apply them in your daily life.

The helmet of salvation: Learn to think Christ-like. Be courageous and not discouraged. Be full of hope, look to our Lord for help.

The sword of the Spirit: Applying the Word of God is applying the sword of the Spirit, Mt 4,4f. Study the Word of God on a regular basis. The Holy Spirit will help you to remember the right Word of God at the right moment.

Prayer and intercession in the Holy Spirit: We should worship God and intercede with prayful persistence for all the saints. See "Introduction to Genuine Christian Life".

11. Faith and Healing

Something is not truly Biblical merely because it is contained in Scripture, "Judas went out and hanged himself," Mt 27,5, contradicts the Biblical view of both life and death.

It is right to affirm that God uses our faith, it is blasphemy to believe that our faith can use God. "If you have faith you will be healed," has great appeal because it seems to guarantee success. Rightly used it contains some Biblical truth, wrongly used it is a `christian' magic-formula.

What is magic? It is the belief that non-human powers exists for our benefit and if we say, do or believe certain things we can band them to our own ends. It is absurd to expect that the work of the Great Physician can be contained in a formula - we cannot manipulate God under the guise of having faith in Him.

Does God always require our faith before He can heal us? And if we have faith will He automatically heal us? The answer is no! There are many reports of healing through Christian ministry, for instance, of those of another religion - these healing are not the result of faith but often the prelude to it. If God could only act when we have faith then He would not be sovereign but at the mercy of His gifts to us.

If God automatically did anything in response to us we would be in the realm of magic not of grace. Both Scripture and present-day experience show that the faithful are not invariably healed.

The greatest faith is expressed in deep surrender to God's will whatever it is, rather than in any attempted bargaining with Him.

God uses our faith but we must avoid the view that our faith can use God.

Faith results in our having the grace to obey God - it does not force God to obey us!

12. God is normally in the normal

As we discover that God works also miraculously, then we have learned another important thing about Him. There might be, however, a trap - if we focus on the "signs and wonders" we tend mentally to locate God just in the extraordinary. This is bad news and not Good News: It basically denies the creation and undermines the conviction that God might use bread, wine, water, oil, touch or word to communicate Himself to us. It is right that signs should follow believers but when believers identify God with them, then it is, that believers begin following the signs. The Good News is that God has chosen to step into His creation and work within it. We are saying that God is active

- through His creation and

- through His Son

Medicine primarily applies the lessons revealed in creation, while the Church primarily applies the lessons revealed in and through the Son. As man is body, mind and spirit, and health depends on the harmonious functioning of the whole man, so the task of medicine and the Church are inseparable.

There is in a sense in which even the great miracle of healing, e.g. the raising of Lazarus, is little more than a "dispensation," for every healing has to give away to the "final healing", i.e. death. It is death which is enables us to see most clearly the roles of medicine and the Church, for our view of life depends on our view of death.

Death is the fulfilment of our creation, of our redemption and our sanctification - death follows the final unification with God.

13. The healing gift of the Church

Impressive happenings are not necessarily signs of Christian authenticity. Spiritual ministry should be exercised within the Church. In the Church it should arise from a life which demonstrates the fruit of Spirit-fullness, see Gal 5,22f, without this "charismata"caused (and causes) division. Self-appointed healers are demolition experts rather than healers - a so called Christian who seemingly has the faith to move mountains of sickness and is not in unity with the Body of Christ is not of the Spirit. A counterfeit bank-note is not the opposite of a real one, but as identical as possible. Paul warned against the work of satan in displaying all kinds of counterfeit miracles, sign and wonders, 2 Thess 2,9. Non-Christian (false-Christian) laying-on-of-hands differ from Christian, because the "invisible" elements differ greatly.

The "cure" from the "other side" may be very spectacular, but it does not bring "health" in the Christian sense - it makes your soul sick!

The anointing is appropriate within God's family, the Church, just as the Holy Communion is appropriate only to those who are "in Christ". There is a non-sacramental use of oil, just like it is a non-sacramental "breaking of the bread". Anointing should take place (publicly or privately) within the Body of believers and if the sick person is baptized, within a Holy Communion service - it is always closely linked with confession and absolution, Jas 5,13f (v.16). Representatives of both family and Church should be present.

The gifts of the Church are necessary - they are of God. Signs and wonders are also necessary - it is good to experience God in an extraordinary way, but this cannot lead to a spiritual diet which endlessly seeks signs and addicted to miracles. This kind of faith basically denies the incarnation because it assumes that God is not in the ordinary.

It is very difficult for human beings to "keep to the center of the road". Rather we are continually bouncing from one extreme to another. Those who over-emphasize the head (intellect) usually neglect feelings - their relationship to God is accordingly intellectual. Those who emphasize feelings are of the opinion that God is present only if they can feel it. Neither the one or the other is correct - in our relationship to God we have to find the "center of the road".

14. Liberation-ministry

See "Church of the Christ - People of God on the Way"

a. Preparation

It is important to note that prayer for deliverance is an aspect of the healing ministry and should be seen in the context of the healing of the whole person. This means that complementary means of healing should accompany the ministry of prayer:

1. Medical: The mystery of the incarnation affirms that God works powerfully through the human. God can and does utilize medical science for healing. Consultation with a Christian physician can be supported by spontaneous prayers for healing and the sacrament of the sick.

2. Mental: Christian counseling, forgiveness of people who have hurt us, and prayer for inner healing all address the emotional dimension of the human person.

3. Social: In order to assist a person in the healing process and personal growth, it is often necessary to make certain environmental changes. For example, in certain cases, Christians may have to break certain patterns of relationships that are harmful for them.

4. Spiritual: The goal of the healing ministry is fourfold conversion, that is, religious, emotional, intellectual and moral conversion. This goal is not simply human freedom but a total commitment to live for Jesus and others. Daily prayer, reading of the Scriptures, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation, and Christian service are means of fostering this life with Jesus and others.

If a person has been involved in occult practices in the past, there is also a need to renounce such practices and the objects connected with them, to break all curses and pacts, and to consecrate the person (again) to Jesus by the (renewal) baptismal promises and reception of the Eucharist.

The blessing of the person and or ill region with the Eucharist, is recommended.

b. Deliverance prayer

The deliverance prayer session should not solely concentrate on deliverance from evil spirits but deliverance into the healing of a life lived for Jesus. The prayer session will involve the seven elements listed below:

1. Prayer of praise and protection

It helps to begin with praise and thanksgiving asking for protection on all present and over all we love. Ideally, a group of intercessors should also be at prayer during the session. The group should have a sense of peace and unity before continuing.

2. Prayer of discernment

Once there is peace, unity and focus on Jesus, He will reveal the next step and will show the presence of any spirits.

3. Binding of spirits

To insure that the healing and deliverance prayer are not blocked, all* spirits should be bound from drawing upon any evil assistance. They should also be bound whenever they act upon the person such as stirring up fear, confusion or agitation of any kind.* It could be necessary to name all the spirits which are discerned to be present. Active (also passive - for instance, predecessor up to the 3rd or 4th generation) occult practices have to be taken very seriously.

4. Confession

The person may need to forgive, renounce occult practices, repent and confess his sins.

5. Deliverance prayer

The evil spirit has to be commanded to go quietly in the name of Jesus, see "Introduction to Genuine Christian Life" - Appendix B/C.

6. Prayer for healing

The healing of the woundedness of the person is the focal point of the deliverance process and should take the most time. It is usually necessary to get at the root cause of the difficulty and pray for its healing. The person may need to forgive, renounce occult practices and repent of sins.

7. In-filling prayer

Prayer of thanksgiving for all that is happening and will happen, prayer for a (new) outpouring of the Holy Spirit - "Come Holy Spirit..." see ChCh; GCL

c. Follow-up

The delivered person has to be fully integrated into the Body of Christ. The delivered person will have to work through old temptations and feelings and will need support in order to do so. The delivered person has a new dimension of life in Christ that needs to be encouraged by prayer alone and with others. Spiritual growth may lead to the Spirit touching further areas in need of healing and deliverance. This should not be seen as regression - a further proper action should be taken with the guidance of the Spirit.

d. Exorcism

We will distinguish different degrees of diabolic actions upon human beings: Temptation - no one escapes this; infestation (which, for example, John M. Vianney experienced); external (my experience) and internal obsession, and finally diabolic possession.

Demonic bondage has different degrees - demonic possession is a total possession of a person by demon(s). In such cases we use the prayer of exorcism, see "The Teaching of the Church of Jesus the Christ" - Sacrament of penance.

One of the main difference between demonic burdening (deliverance ministry) and demonic possession (exorcism) is that in the latter the possessed person cannot usually participate in his deliverance - he is in such bondage that his free will is non- or almost non-existent. The exorcist(s) has to act for him.

The first step is a prayer to the mighty angel Michael - for his protection and his fighting cooperation.

Prayer: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places, Eph 6,12. Come to our assistance of whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. We pray that you may take hold of the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and satan, bind him and cast him away, Rev 20,2. Compare Dan 10,13.20.

Prayer: We pray to you Blessed Virgin Mary, blessed Apostles and Martyrs that you may stand by us with your intercession and support us in our spiritual battle.

Psalm 68,1: God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him!

The Exorcism (using the sign of the cross):

We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits (one may name the disclosed spirits), all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies in the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ (+) - you shall be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb (+). We especially command you now to leave this creation of the Almighty (name the person) - in the Name of the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son and the Holy Spirit (+). Amen!

Give place now to Christ in whom you have found none of your works; give place to the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of Jesus the Christ acquired by Jesus at the price of His Blood - flee now as we invoke the Name of Jesus (+).

V. O Lord, hear our prayer;

R. And let our (my) cry come unto you!

This prayer will be followed by the "in-filling prayer", see above.

The suggested follow up (see above) is also essential.

15. Understanding ourselves and others

In most areas of tension it is important to realize that the real differences are often due to feelings, our own and others and then the intellectual endeavor to solve them on a purely human level. Healthy Church (and Christian family) life depends on the ability to pray and discuss- listen together to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Truth can not be reached (discovered) neither by operating purely at the level of intellect or of feeling - the Holy Spirit will guide you into all the truths, Jn 16,13 (consult, if needed your spiritual advisor).

The reason we have breakdown of talks so often is because we rely solely on our selves and not on the Spirit - head, heart and divine guidance have to meet!

The first step is to locate prayfully the problem(s) - and solve it in prayer. It might be necessary, from time to time, to call an experienced Christian from the "outside", from an other congregation, who may help the process of healing the differences in our (church)-family.

16. Church and Security

Often the attraction of the Church is the security it appears to offer. Security lies ultimately in God and not in the Church. If we expect security from the Church as an institution then it is we who will kill her. It is our fallen human nature that we tend to conform but it is the Spirit which wants to transform.

Traditions are grown out of changes - out of freedom! But yesterday's freedom can become today's bonding! In this sense we also have to be careful with new traditions in which security has been found. It can create a fear-driven addiction which is bondage. While new freedoms may be explored to re-build the Body of Christ new traditions will be established. Claims by the Spirit-led are authenticated by their Spirit-fruits.

A healthy desire to respect the individual and to affirm the wide variety and tempo in Christian growth has to be coupled with the nurturing, encouraging and supporting the growth of a healthy authority - this will assure a healthy growth within the Christian community.

The Spirit is the One who will rock the boat to break it free from its manmade moorings. It is the Spirit given love which will cast out that fear which results in party spirit, division and mistrust. It is this gift of this same love which makes us see with sorrow our failure to love as an individual and as a Church.

Are you looking for the problem? The problem in the Church is the human part of the Church - you and me. The problem lies with me and not in you or them - first, you search your own heart! The other is God's gift to offset my own weakness!

What we all need first is to study 1 Cor 13

17. Christian Concept of Work - also a therapeutical concept

Work as God's will and charge

God will is that we work and contribute to the building up of the Church and society.

"Six days you shall do work," Ex 23,12.

"Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor," 1 Cor 3,8.

"If any will not work, he shall not eat," 2 Thess 3,10.

"The laborer deserves his pay," Mt 10,10.

Unemployment leads to illness

Whoever fails his divine designation (in whatever sphere) will suffer mental, spiritual and or physical harm - one of God's mission is for man to work.

The state has an obligation to provide, directly or indirectly, employment.

Work as therapy

Work is a part of `living according to God's will.' Unemployment may cause sickness, meaningful and moderate work contributes to good health.

18. The Truth Makes Free

"The truth will make you free", Jn 8,32.

What is truth?

Truth is the conformity between the divine thought and the reality. The entire creation is a realization of divine thoughts. In this, man takes a special place. The Bible is also thoughts of God.

I live in the truth:

- When my spirit is led by the Holy Spirit - when my thoughts, words, deeds and my behavior corresponds to His norm and harmonizes with His thoughts;

- When my spiritual, mental and mental development corresponds to the divine idea.

19. What is Sickness?

Illness in the spiritual sphere is the consequence of

- an unrepented heart - there is no personal relationship to Jesus;

- transgressing the divine will - not observing the commandments of God, not fulfilling the task He has assigned to me.

Mental illness is often the consequence of

- negative influence of my environment and my reaction to it. A lack of love and safety by parents can, for instance, evoke hate and rejection.

Difficulties in regaining lost health/truth:

Every development and every progress is connected to fear - I have to leave something which I am familiar with and exchange it with an unknown - this is connected to resistance. The truth is, that the old has to go before the new can develop - the old man has to die in order that the new might be born.

How do I obtain the truth?

Our human development (stunted development too) is guided by our spirit( or the absence of it ). Only a human spirit which is adjusted to the Holy Spirit ("born again," see Jn 3,5) can obtain the healing truth of God.

Christian therapy is a spirit-therapy. A therapy without spiritual dimension, without Christian spiritual direction cannot possibly restore human integrity - half truth does not free - it binds!

Healing - we have to remind ourselves that in our fallen state is no such thing as a complete healing - the cross is a part of our existence!

Truth will free us step by step - this is a life-long process. To live in the truth means to strive for the truth - it is not an achieved condition but rather a process, a becoming.

The truth frees us to a spiritual, mental and physical integrity - it frees us to Christ, the ultimate aim of our life: "I am the truth," Jn 14,6.

20. Suffering from Christian Perspective

The Bible gives us manifold answers to the sense of suffering. Our basic question should not be the "why" but rather the "for what." Many Christians struggled through their suffering but are capable of saying Yes to life, to suffering, to their fellow man and even praised God: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God", 2 Cor 1,3-4.

The roots of all suffering and ultimately death is sin.

Our free will is the "location" where we love or hate.

A. Illnesses -

B. Burdens


a. Spiritual

This happens when a Christian deviate from the path God has determined for him. The only cure is found in returning to God's plans.

b. Physical

There are many reasons for a physical illness - ultimately it is the result of our fallen state. A physical illness can bring manifold blessings to a Christian:

- stock-taking - conversion

- through one's own experience we can understand and help others more easily

- illness stops us - we pause and ask what does God wants to tell us?                                                                               return to the fold

Experience shows that growth takes place in spurts - between these spurts there are "pauses." These times are very important - a new phase of growth will be prepared.

Incurable illness:

We are speaking here about a very important "apostolic-work" - the apostolate of the ill; in other words illness can be an intercession. We Christians know that as a member of the Body we can (have to) intercede for our brethren. This interceding can have many different forms, verbal (prayer), non-verbal (fasting, works of charity) and offering up our illness for the benefit of other members of the Body or for different intentions of the Church, like the conversion of sinners, etc. The sickness itself will not be the decisive factor here but the free-will-intention - uniting the suffering with the suffering of Christ for the benefit of His purpose.

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church", Col 1,24:

- Paul is pleased that he can suffer (one of his illness was incurable, see 2 Cor 12,7-9);

- He joints his sufferings to the single sacrificial suffering of Christ: God will accept this in view of the merits of Christ. (This is the case for all other types of intercession too);

- He applies it to the Church.

Illness and sin:

Ultimately every illness is connected to sin - illness and death is a consequence of our fallen nature - we lost Paradise.

Although we cannot trace every illness to a specific sin, but there are certain sins which inevitably will lead to some kind of illness:

- Occult practices are doors for the evil one - he will make you ill, see chapter on the Occult.

- Drug abuse will lead to self-destruction:

"Resist the devil and he must flee", Jas 4,7. This statement shows how important our free will is. Anything or anyone who is interfering (reducing or eliminating) with our free will, will open us up for the forces of evil. Drugs are not just reducing our free will, they are also ruining our character, our mind and body.

Marijuana - (see p.45)

Our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Cor 6,19. Any Christian who disregard the presence of the Holy Spirit in him will lose Him.

Marijuana affects hormones that control sexual development, fertility, and sexual functioning in both sexes. This drug impairs short-term memory, alters sense of time, reduces concentration, swift reactions and coordination.

While marijuana may not directly cause mental problems like many other drugs, but it brings to the surface emotional problems and can trigger even more severe disorders.

There are some of the disorders we know of which were triggered (even if not caused directly) by the use of marijuana: Nervous disorientation, loss of faith, schizophrenia, epilepsy (illnesses where the organism [body - mind] destroys itself - a truly diabolical manifestation), etc., see "Church of Christ - People of God on the Way": Christian Counseling.

Other disturbing effect of marijuana use is its interference with growing up - it interferes with the development of adequate social skills and encourages a mental escapism.

The greatest danger is the opening up (see free will above) for evil influence, which will gradually lead the impenitent heart to lose the Holy Spirit. The loss of the Spirit will inevitably follow the inhabitation of evil spirits.

Aids (see p. 47): Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome - a viral infection in which the normal body defenses against infection are so weakened that the infected person cannot fight off other infections. This results in some forms of pneumonia and cancer that are fatal.

How did it come into the western world?

It spread by homosexual* (Sodomy, see Gn 19; Rom 1,26f) and bisexual men who had acquired it mainly by anal sexual intercourse.

Is it possible to be sure of not catching AIDS and still to enjoy a sexual relationship?

Yes! By committing oneself to only one sexual partner who has also never had other sexual partners. A lifetime commitment to marriage is the answer.

The biblical teaching supports chastity for men and women before marriage and fidelity in marriage with lifelong commitment. It also condemns sexual acts between people of the same sex.

* According to the Bible, homosexual activity originates in the mind and will of man. It is a chosen behavior. The commonly advocated cause by humanistic Psychology is a relationship defect in the family - we have to emphasize the unshakable truth that "not what people are doing to you will make you ill, but how you react of these influences": Hate or love; rebellion or obedience, etc. There are one cause of homosexuality known to us which is not (directly or indirectly) a freely chosen behavior: Demonic subjugation or possession, inherited as a result of occult involvement of ancestors. The cure is Christian counseling which includes deliverance ministry, see "Introduction to Genuine Christian Life": Appendix.

c. Mental illness:

- Caused by the environment, through fellow man - developed through lack of love: Here the healing will often be experienced through the brethren - cured by love!

- It can have inherited roots

The answer might be - "Your will be done", Lk 22,42, see also Rom 8,28.

- It can have occult roots:

Deliverance is necessary, see "Church of Christ - People of God on the Way".


a. Disappointments:

Many illnesses are caused by disappointments, or rather poor reaction to events that disappoint:

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are rebuked of him", Hebr 12,5.

- Afflictions which are coming from the Lord:

to teach us (for instance, patience)

to purify us (God "prunes the branches", Jn 15,2)

to prepare us for His purpose, etc.

- Actions which bring about disappointment could be:


imprudence, etc.

Times of afflictions shows the firmness of our character.

Disappointments can show defects in ourselves.

They often show our limitations.

See 2 Cor 4,16-18.

b. Temptations:

A tunnel serves different important functions:

God remains faithful, see 1 Cor 10,13.

c. Family problems:

- Under certain circumstances, they can strengthen members of the family

- Under certain circumstances, they can lead to God

This conversion can also lead to persecution, see Mt 10,36;16,24-26.

d. Old age, see Ps 92,13f

One has to accept the restrictions and limitations that old age places upon our lives.

e. Death, see Phil 1,21f

- What is your reaction to death? Is it rebellion? Do you know better?

- For us Christians, death is the gate to eternal life!

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with burden, but he helps us also", Ps 68,19.

21. Fundamental Principles of Team-communication

Every team (community - Church-community) experiences problems and crisis-situations. There are constant attacks on the Christian community from within and without - we have to count on this. The important question is whether the community has "enough antibody," that is, bound by love to repel and conquer the intrusions. The community (life) has to be nurtured - praying, studying the Scriptures, caring for each others needs, etc.

Some important hints for strengthening the life of the individual Christian and the Christian Church-community.

a. Walk in the light

"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another", 1 Jn 1,7.

It is important that every team member walks in the Light - if one of the members does not walk in the Light, the entire "organism" will suffer the consequences. If the community (house-church) has difficulties, the first step is to acknowledge, that we have a problem, that every one of us, in some way, has contributed to it - do not point your finger at anyone, start the search within yourself: We (I) failed and not you failed, is the attitude which will bring about a solution.

Looking at it from the positive side - a problem (individual or team) can also be a real opportunity to deepen relationships and help to mature spiritually. Again - the starting point is oneself - I have to change my communication, my behavior and I have to grow in love.

b. "We have fellowship with one another"

One of the strongest expression of fellowship is communication. What do we mean by communication? Speaking, listening, praying-together - verbal and non-verbal communication. Where communication stops community ceases to exist.

What do we have to observe by communication?

b/a. Communication means to communicate-one-self.

Many people do not have the desire to communicate. Introverted people and people with certain kinds of mental/spiritual problems will have great difficulties in expressing themselves. The first step is a decision (an act of will and not an act of feeling) - "I will communicate, even if it is not my apparent need."

To be silent can also be an expression of egoism - "for what I do not have a need, I will not do."

Silence can also serve as a weapon - it can be a means to punish others (consciously or sub-consciously). In this situation the taciturn person plays the role of the judge, he is self-righteous, believes that he is right and prevents the possibility of solving the problem.

"First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye", Lk 6,42.

b/b. The different forms of communication:

Verbal - using language in direct communication with others or in prayer (together), communicating via God.

Non-verbal - the language of the body and of behavior.

Double-message - the verbal and non-verbal communication disagreeing with each other - the worst type of communication.

Listening - is an essential part of communication:

The sense of real communication is to know and encounter the other person - this is impossible without real listening.

Real listening is impossible when:

- one believes they know what the other will say, to begin with;

- one passes judgment on the other, to begin with;

- one hears what one wants to hear;

- one does not let the other speak;

- while "listening" the "right" answer will be formulated;

- one forces his will on the other;

- one is not willing to accept the other;

- one centers around himself.

Genuine listening is an expression of love.

b/c. The content of the conversation

It is important to start all conversations (especially difficult ones) with a prayer. By trying to solve differences, we have to be sensitive, approach the partner with respect - he/she is a fellow member of the same Body! Pay attention when asking questions that

- possibly the full answer will not come immediately

- you give sufficient time to reflect

- you yourself remain calm and do not convey double-messages

- you remain in love

- you are really listening.

Take sufficient time. The right time and place is not unimportant.

c. The right time

"There is a time for everything," Eccl 3,1(f), also for talking and problem-solving. It may be better to postpone a conversation (tired, rushed, etc.), but do not put it off "forever." `Sensitive' conversations should be planned - prepare oneself for it.

d. "A soft answer turns away wrath", Prov 15,1.

Anger is not a good advisor! Keep to the subject and do not turn against the person.

Let your partner know that you respect his/her feelings and keep your own negative feelings in check.

e. The place of the conversation

The first step is an eye to eye encounter, see the biblical advise Mt 18,15f.

It should not be in public - the place should be a quiet one, where there are no disturbances (no telephone).

"The blood of Jesus cleanses us," 1 Jn 1,7

The consequence of such a deep conversation is inevitably the recognition of guilt - not just "his" guilt but mine also! This guilt must be confessed that the "Blood of Jesus" may cleanse it.

It is also important that the parties involved make a serious resolution to change - perhaps they can encourage each other on the path of spiritual maturing. Forgiving is an absolute necessity - I need God's mercy, I have to forgive also - forgiving is an act of will!!!

22. Growth

The human being is of three parts - body, soul and spirit.

We cannot expect, in our fallen state that our growth will be without difficulties and that it will be perfect. Let us look at some of the difficulties which we encounter in mind and spirit - we will not discuss the biological difficulties of growth.

Some of the concepts:

God's word and man, see Hebr 4,12.

The body takes over the manifold functions of communication with the environment; it is also the vehicle of moving and performing.

The soul: The life-functions of a man will be determined by the soul. For this reason the souls (psyche) is identified in the Bible with life.

Some of its functions:

- Intellect - "wisdom is sweet to your soul," Prov 24,14

- Feeling - "My soul is exceeding sorrowful," Mt 26,38

- Will - "My soul refuses to touch," Jb 6,7

The spirit: The genuine development of a person comes from the spirit - the developmental process is conveyed to the soul and the body. But because God respects the freedom of the person, He turns to the will - therefore the soul is partaking in all spiritual happenings.

Some of its functions:

- Conscience - "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts", Prov 20,27

- Knowledge (perception) of God - "It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God", Rom 8,16

- Union with God - "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior", Lk 1,47

23. Psychotherapy and Christian Counseling

The secular psychotherapy is two dimensional - soul and body. It has no concept of the "spirit" in a Christian sense.

Christian counseling is three dimensional - body, soul and spirit. The central position of the human spirit (described above) makes it obvious that a therapy without dealing with the spiritual problems will never lead to the restoration of the integrity of any human being.

The Fall of man

The root of all illness lies in the Fall of man - any therapy which does not reckon with that basic fact, must fail.

The soul and the spirit is the object of every Christian therapy. Soul and spirit are connected so intimately with each other that a therapy of the one without the other is fruitless - the Church is also equipped with the healing of the body (the gift of healing); Working with a Christian physician is however recommended.

Developmental disturbances

a. The souls - mental disturbances

The relationship between parents and children will determine greatly the mental development of the child, at least in the early stages of its life. Some of the roots of false developments are

- Lack of devotion

- Lack of maturity of the parents- The parents are not able to let the child go (gradually) - cut the umbilical cord, the child can not develop properly

- Lack of love - the child cannot experience his/her own value, lack of self esteem. Love is the nourishment of the soul - without it stunted growth is guaranteed: Infantilism, inferiority, unable to relate, etc.

Nature shows us that buds can develop only when the leaves fall off - we may say that the falling off of the old makes new life possible. In the law of mental health we have a similar law - let go and new will spring up. This releasing and new-growing is a continual process which accompanies us (our spiritual and mental development) throughout all of our lives.

Enemies of our development:

- Fear of the unknown - even then when this "new" promises great things

- Fear of loss

- Growth is connected with pain and resistance

How to encounter these difficulties:

- First we have to know what ails us

- The difficulties have to be dealt with - seek the guidance (counselor) of the Holy Spirit.

- The patient's active cooperation is required - striving for change (in behavior, communication, etc.)

The spiritual counselor engages himself in (through) conversation with the consulted, helping him to discover his shortcomings and in prayful consideration supports him by encouraging the changing of his behavior - the counselor becomes a model - father, mother, a person on whom the client can grow.

b. Disturbances in the spiritual sphere

It is superfluous to say that Christian therapy for non-Christians is fruitless. The first step here is to strive for the conversion of the client - he has to be integrated into a house-church and start his catechumenat. Therapy can begin after this initial commitment.

There are important concepts which the counselor and the consulted have to understand before counseling can be conducted meaningfully. Here are some of them: The Holy Trinity, redemption, Church, offices, gifts, sin, demonic burdening, confession, liberation, conversion, "born again".

All spiritual and ultimately all mental and physical illnesses have their origin in the Fall of man - in sin.

The following should be considered:

1. One of the main concerns of the spiritual advisor whilst accompanying his becoming-Christian is to keep his eyes on the parable of Jesus, Mt 13,3f. New life, also spiritual life, is more endangered then a mature one. Many people die a spiritual death scarcely before they were born - the devil robs the new Christians of the Word of God - cares of the world, riches, deceit of lusts, etc.

2. Incomplete conversion: Feelings-centered conversion, false expectations, the power of sin not broken, etc.

3. Demonic dependence not solved - prayer of deliverance.

4. Problems in spiritual sphere often caused by mental problems:

- The non-committed Christian - fear of obligation, authority-complex, etc.

- The disappointed Christian - immaturity, inferiority complex (hidden pride), etc.

- Christians who will not fit into the Christian community - strong egocentricity, etc.

In the first place, help must come from the Word of God:

- The Word is literally a nourishment for the spirit and indispensable for the growth of the same. It has also a purifying effect, Jn 15,3; giving direction and protection. The Bible has to be regularly read and studied - privately and in the house-church.

- Forgive

- Confession - obtaining forgiveness

- Dissolving all demonic bonding - prayer of deliverance

- "Be filled with the Spirit", Eph 5,18, is a command! The Scripture appeals to the decision of will upon which the "filling" with the Holy Spirit can happen. The initiative is by the Spirit but we have to contribute to it by opening ourselves (free will) to the Spirit of God.

5. Adoration and praise: God is never closer than when we praise and adore Him.

6. Intercession: It is important that the "troubled" Christian learns to intercede on a regular basis - turning away from himself (ego) and turning to others (You) - practiced love.

7. Obedience is one of the indispensable pre-conditions for spiritual restoration and development. Obedience towards the Spirit of God often comes by obeying the lawful Church-authorities.


Christian therapy requires a healthy spiritual background - the Church of Jesus the Christ. The counselor and his client have to be integrated into the local congregation.

Christian therapy is not the task of an isolated individual, a specialist, but rather the work of a spiritual advisor who is a "co-worker" within (of) the congregation, having the gift and knowledge of healing and working closely with the Church and her officers. Christian therapy is an active and committed communion of Christians.

24. Parents and Adult "Children"

God doesn't really give us our children - He only loans them to us for a season. There comes a time when we must be to our children what God the Father is to each of us.

Many Christians pay too much attention to what works and too little to what is right. What is right may or may not work. We live in a moral universe made by a righteous God and inhabited by creatures who have often chose the opposite of what He wished.

We ought not to base our relationship with our children on any supposed results of the relationship but on what is right. If God's greatest desires for His creatures have not always been fulfilled, our desires for our children may not always be fulfilled either. It is better that we aim at being godly parents even though we may fail to produce perfect children.

If God "wept" over rebellious humanity, then we at times may have to grieve over rebellious children.

God's attitude as a parent combines loving care and instructions with a refusal to force our obedience. He longs to bless us, yet He will not cram blessings down our throats. Our sins and rebellions cause Him grief, and in His grief He will do much to draw us back to Himself.

We must not give you a wrong impression:

God disciplines to teach, and punishes as an act of parental justice - children will never understand grace unless they first discover the law. If we persist in our wrongdoing God will let us find by the pain of bitter experience that it would have been better to obey Him.

To step back does not mean to abandon your children or neglect your responsibilities toward them, nor to relinquish the authority you need to fulfill those responsibilities. It means, however, to release them back to God; to abandon those controls that arise from needless fears or from selfish ambitions.

We should relinquish our children even before we have them - Mary, the Mother of Jesus did.

Some parents give their children more than they need. Unconsciously they may want to realize in their children's lives something they failed to realize in their own - they fail to recognize that the life they were (are) dreaming about was (is) not their own but their children's - or better, God's.

Children bring joy as well as pain - we, as God's children also.

Give up the right to possess the children - God is The Father.

Help them to pass on to their children whatever you have given to them.

Teach them to express gratitude.

Allow your children to face pain, tragedy and even death - allow them to accept the effects of their own actions.

It may be hard to know when a child should accept full adult responsibility, but the process must begin with a willingness on your part to let your children discover that fire burns.

As they get older you will become their counselor - and just that.

We are to be to our children what God the Father is to each of us. The father of the prodigal son reflects that sort of parenthood:

- The father let his younger son go;

- He continued to live in faith, hope and love:

"While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion of him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him," Lk 15,20.

You don't identify your son when he is "still a long way off" unless you happen to be looking for him, staring at the horizon in hope.

That is how God is with us. He lets us choose. Then He "swallows" His pain and waits. Let us ask Him to search our parental hearts and make them like His own.

25. Our Christian Foundations

b. Jesus and His Ministry

Jesus is the central character of the centuries: He captured the allegiance of millions of people - they called themselves by His name: "Christians," Acts 11,26.

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote a history of his own people: He spoke about the stoning in A.D. 62 of James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ (see Jewish Antiquities).

The Roman historians:

Suetonius: "Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition."

Tacitus: "But the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also" (see Annals, p.423).

Lucian described Jesus as "the man who was crucified in the Land of the Jews because he introduced this new cult into the world" (see The Passing of Peregrinus, p.13).

The Apostle Paul    

Corinthians 11,23;15,3

The Evangelist Luke 1,1-4

Who is Jesus?

"No man ever spoke like this man", Jn 7,46

"A man of sorrow", Is 53,3Matthew 18,2

Matthew 9,36;14,14 - Mark 3,5; Luke 19,45

Matthew 8,2; Luke 5,13

Matthew 11,19 - Mark 1,35

Matthew 23,1-28 - John 8,11

Matthew 4,18-22 - 16,24

Luke 19,10; Matthew 20,28; John 10,1-18

Revelation 3,20

The uniqueness of Jesus

1 Peter 2 21-24

Mark 3,1-6

Matthew 11,28-30

John 8,7-11

Hebrews 4,15

The relevance of Jesus: God was working in Jesus in such a way that His life would enable us to triumph in ours, see Jn 1,12; 2 Cor 5,19.

The historical Jesus

- "Before the world was created, the Word already existed..." see Jn 1,1-4.14

- His supernatural birth, Is 7,14; Mt 1,18; Lk 1,34-35

- His early childhood, Lk 2,21.22-24(f); Mt 2,1-12.13-15.23; Lk 2,39-52

- His teenage years; His years as a young adult - Nazareth lies fifteen miles (24 km) west of the Sea of Galilee. We do not have any direct written evidence of these "silent" years, but His teachings (parables) show indirectly what he has learned, experienced, observed, etc.:

- The village wedding, Lk 14,8

- The irritable local magistrate, Lk 18,1-8

- Unemployed men idly standing around the street corner, Mt 20,3

- A country boy who took his money and went off to the big city, only to return home penniless, Lk 15,11-24

- He spoke of flocks, herds and crops, Lk 15,1-7;12,16-21; of farmers vines, olives, figs, oaks and walnut trees, Mk 13,28-31; Lk 21,29-33

- He knew about mustard seed, farmers who wasted seed, scarlet poppies, the sun and rain on the corn, the lilies of the field and the sparrows of the air, Lk 13,18-19;8,5-8; Mt 6,25-30; Lk 12,22-31

The Christ

Mt 16,16!

Jesus, Hebrew Joshua, Mt 1,21

Lord - is the acknowledgement of His right and rule over the life of all, Acts 2,36; Rom 1,4;10,9, etc.

The ministry of Jesus

John the Baptist, Lk 3,2-18

The baptism of Jesus, Mk 1,9-11

The temptation of Jesus, Mt 4,1

a. The temptation took three forms:

- To misuse the power He had been rightly promised by God

- To manipulate His unique relationship with God

- To magnify His own rather than God's greatness

b. The nature of the temptation:

1. The first temptation, Mt 4,3-4 - the seduction was to seek an economic answer for mankind's deepest problems.

2. The second temptation, Mt 4,5-6 - to gather a crowd by being an instant celebrity; to impress the gullible to become His followers.

3. The third temptation, Mt 4,8-10 - at the time of the First Coming Christ's Kingdom did not belong to this world, Jn 18,36-37. His First Coming was not the coming of the expected political Messiah - He came to save mankind from their sins, from satan.

The Disciples

The location - the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, a frontier town, an area being an international crossroad: A key military road from Syria to Egypt; an intersection for the great caravan routes going east and west.

The candidates - most of the disciples were simple men.

The Apostles, Mt 10,2f:

Simon Peter, Mt 16,16-19; Acts 2,14f;10;15,7f; Lk 22,54f, etc.

Peter always heads the list of the Apostles - `Primus inter pares'.

Peter was volatile by temperament, yet he did more to establish the Church after Pentecost than many others. He was a man of strength and courage, willing to risk death itself in order to serve Christ, and yet in crucial moments he failed Him.

He traveled widely and preached throughout the Roman Empire, particularly in Asia Minor, Greece and Italy. In Rome he was crucified upside down, because he protested that he was not worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

Andrew, Jn 1,40;6;9;12,22

He was the first believer, the `protoclete', which is Greek for `first called'. Every time that Andrew is mentioned in Scripture, he is introducing someone to Jesus. He was a friendly person. After the resurrection he spent most of his life preaching in Scynthia, north of the Black Sea. He was crucified in Macedonia, north of Greece, in the shape of an `X', known to us as St. Andrew's Cross.

James and John

were the sons of Zebedee, Mk 3,17 - they were fishermen.

Zebedee was a wealthy fisherman. He owned some of the larger ships. James and John immediately left their nets when Jesus called them to follow Him.

James was the first of the Twelve to be executed for his faith, Acts 12,2. He was close to his brother John and they are always mentioned together. They were tempestuous men, "the Sons of Thunder", Mk 3,17.

Such was the profound influence of Jesus on John that the Son of Thunder ended up being known as the Apostle of Love. John is the writer of the fourth Gospel and the Book of Revelation.

As a very old man, John still ministered to Christians in Asia Minor and was exiled to the island of Patmos, Rev 1,9. He is the only disciple who died a natural death. His body was taken to Ephesus where it was buried.

Bartholomew, Nathanael, Jn 1,45.47

He was a man of integrity. Jesus called him a "great Israelite; there is nothing false about him".

He took the Gospel to Albania.

James, Mt 10,3

A son of Alpheus. He preached in Persia and was crucified there.

Judas, Jn 14,22

Judas Thaddeus, the son of James. He was a close friend of Jesus, carrying the faith into the far land of Mesopotamia where, in the large cities, he proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God. He was strongly opposed and eventually slain, by being beaten with clubs and stones in the city of Berito.

Matthew also known as Levi, Lk 5,27(f)

worked for the Roman government, collecting tolls and taxes at the various crossroads and caravan routes. He made his living by charging an excess over the tax due as the caravans came in and out of the city of Capernaum. The Jews hated these men who collected the taxes on behalf of the Romans - any money handled by a tax collector was declared unclean.

Matthew owned his own house, was fairly well-to-do and was an educated man. His Gospel is one of the most influential pieces of literature in all of history. It was placed at the beginning of the New Testament because it shows how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament hopes and ideas.

Matthew spent his later years preaching the Gospel in Parthia and Ethiopia, where he was martyred.

Philip, Jn 1,43.45;6,7

He was a disciple who is pictured as asking questions. He was a man of great faith. One of his companions on his missionary journeys was Joseph of Arimathea. He ended his life by being crucified in the city of Hierapolis.

Simon the Zealot, Lk 6,15

The Zealots were a Jewish sect known for their murderous attitudes towards Roman sympathizers. He was a man of intense patriotic feelings (How did he and the tax collector Matthew discover that they were brothers?) - there have been many since who have found political, racial and other barriers could be overcome when they acknowledged the Lordship of Christ.

Simon preached throughout Africa and Egypt, where he was crucified for his faith.


who said "Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my fingers on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe", Jn 20,25, also made one of the simplest but greatest declaration of faith - "My Lord and my God!", Jn 20,28. Thomas doubted in order that we who followed might not doubt.

He became a missionary in India and was martyred there for his faith. He is buried at Mylapore, a suburb of Madras. Today his name is carried on in the Indian church named after him, the Church of Mar Toma.

Matthias - chosen after the suicide of Judas, Acts 1,26

Like the others, he witnessed the resurrection and preached faithfully, dying ultimately in Mesopotamia.

Judas Iscariot, Mk 3,19

Judas was a lonely figure, the only Judean among all of the Galileans.

Judas acted as treasurer for the group and he misused it, Jn 12,4-6. See also, Mt 26,24;27,5.

Why did Jesus chose these men?

- Because His work had to g o o n

- Because His work had to g o o u t

It is estimated that by the time of the death of the last Apostle, John, there were more than one million believers throughout the known world.

Jesus chose His Apostles by

- invitation

- education

- authorization

The choosing of the Twelve and the Seventy, Lk 10,1f, has also great significance for the End Time Church.

The task, Mt 28,19-20.

The teaching of Jesus

- was informal, Mt 5,1

- colorful, Mt 9,15;11,17; Lk 5,34-35;9,59-60; Mt 11,16;9,16; Lk 5,36;

Lk 11,5-8;15,8; Mt 6,26.28.30-33;7,9-10;

- authoritative, Mt 7,28-29

- simple, direct, motivational - words used like, "go", "tell", "heal",

"come", "love", "pray", "forgive"- about how we are to live right now, Mt 18,23-24; Lk 16,1-9; Mk 12,31; Lk 10,27; Mt 7,1.15

Jesus took the Old Testament scroll, read from them and gave the traditional passage a new meaning, Lk 4,17-21, see Is 61,1-2.

The content of His teaching

a. God

God for the Jewish mind is: Creator, Provider, Guide, Judge and Defender.

Jesus' new meaning of God is Father, Mt 5,16;6,9, that is, "Abba", loving Father. Love is God's central characteristic. God is not only loving, He is also good. For us, to live a life of goodness was to live in conformity to His will - the most fulfilled and effective kind of life.

b. Ourselves

The teaching of Jesus about how we are to live is summarized best in the Sermon of the Mount, Mt 5-7. There He discussed that:

- Happiness was not found in things that we possess, but in the way we live.

- True contentment consists in living a life of humility and dependence on God, in showing mercy, being pure in heart, working for people and turning others' persecution to good effects.

Jesus showed the contrast between the Old Law given by the prophets and the New Law He gave His disciples. This included how we should handle our anger against others, about committing sexual adultery with our mind as well as our body, about the one basis for divorce (see NTC) and about checking those feelings of revenge that can inwardly destroy us.

Jesus spoke positively about the way we were to do acts of charity and how God rewards deeds of goodness done anonymously.

He taught us about praying and fasting, and not being anxious or worried about our possessions, Mt 6,25-34; about our relationship with other people - about not looking down upon them, but instead judging people as we do trees by the fruit they produce, Mt 7,15-20.

Jesus told a parable about people building identical houses. Looking at them one could not tell the difference, except that when storms came and floods washed against their foundations it was found that one house had been built upon sand and collapsed, while the other was built upon rock and stood the test of the storm.

The parables could usually be understood at two levels, see as an example Mt 13.

There are forty parables of Jesus that are preserved for us.

c. The Kingdom of God

There are more than one hundred references to the Kingdom of God in the four Gospels.

The Kingdom of God was seen in three aspects:

1. The Kingdom as it was expressed in Judaism - Jewish teaching about the coming of the Messiah.

2. God dwelling in the heart of every believer. His Kingdom would be wherever a person allowed God to reign in His life, Lk 17,21.

We cannot bring the Kingdom of God into the World until we bring it into our own heart first.

3. The Kingdom is not only within you but has (will have) an outward, visible dimension, see WT - the Millennium.

d. New Life

A life so distinct that it is "born anew", Jn 3,3.

e. Sin and salvation

Most people will list wrong actions;

In essence, sin is our separation from God - our failure to do His will.

The healing of Jesus

He is the Great Physician, Lk 4,18b-19.

The forgiveness of sin and the healing of disease are bound together, Ps 103,2-3.

"Savior" means to make whole: Mentally, spiritually and physically.

"Your sins are forgiven" was frequently the prelude to "Go in peace, and be healed of your trouble", Lk 7,48; Mk 5,34.

The Healer

Jesus recognized the worth of a person

Jesus had compassion for the hurting

Our faith unlocks God's grace, Lk 7,50;8,48

The miracles of Jesus

What is a miracle? A miracle is an intentional act of power showing evidence of divine intervention, for a spiritual purpose, transcending the usual observed laws of nature.

The miracles recorded in the Bible are associated with one of the following three aspects:

1. Nature miracles, Jn 2,1-12; Lk 8,23-25;9,12-17

2. Miracles concerning human life, Jn 11,1-44

3. Healing of bodily disease, see above

Right understanding of miracles: Jesus was quite convinced that no amount of miracle-making could lead people to a true understanding of God.

Miracles are basic to Christianity. The greatest miracle of all is that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.

Our conversion, rebirth and salvation are in themselves miracles of God's grace.

To accept Jesus as Lord is to accept He had power over the world in which we live.

The lifestyle of Jesus

- His simple lifestyle:

When Jesus emphasized a simple lifestyle free from distracting possessions, Mt 6,19-21, He also claimed that our minds and emotions should likewise be freed: "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the kingdom of heaven belongs to them", Mt 5,3 - we have to be humble in our attitude.

- His absolute trust:

Jesus believed that God would provide for our needs. He urged us to pray: "Give us this day our daily bread", Mt 6,11.

There is a vital difference between needs and wants. He urged us to pray for bread, not pavlova! Mt 6,31-34

Jesus was convinced that God honored those who trusted in Him.

Jesus not only trusted God to provide, but learnt to accept the gifts and support of other people. There is an important balance here. Many of us need to live simply in order that we might serve others. Others need to give sacrificially to enable more service to be completed.

- His sacrificial service, Mk 10,43-45.

From Jesus we learn that no person stands higher than when he or she stoops to serve.

- His unconditional love, Lk 10,27.

True, caring love also forgives other people. Jesus strongly emphasized that a forgiving attitude towards others would be part of our loving concern for them, Mt 5,38-42; Lk 23,34.

Who was Jesus?

"Who do you say that I am?" Mt 16,15. This is the question we all must answer for ourselves.

- The pre-existent Agent of Creation, Jn 1,2-3.10-12; Hebr 1,2-3

- The Son of God, Jn 3,16-17; Rom 1,2-4

- The King of the Jews, Lk 1,31-33

- Great Teacher, Mk 1,21-22

- The Master to follow, Mt 16,24-25; Lk 9,57-62. At base, Christianity is not a system of belief, a code of ethics or a creed of doctrine which needs to be accepted or believed. At base Christianity is accepting the friendship of Jesus and following Him when He calls. Our obedience to His teaching follows our acceptance of His friendship.

- The Savior who can forgive sins, Mk 2,1-12; The redeeming Savior, 1 Cor 15,3.45-47; 1 Tim 1,15;

- The Messiah promised by the prophets, Jn 1,1-3;8,54-59

- The complete revelation of God, Jn 6,35;8,12;11,25-26;13,13-15;15,5;10,9.11; 14,6; Rev 1,8

- The resurrected Lord, Acts 2,36;7,56

- The Christian's friend - those who follow Him belong to a new group of people, which is the Church of His Body, Rom 12,3-5; 1 Cor 12,12-31. His friends received His constant Consolation, the Holy Spirit, Jn 14,15-17.

- The returning King - "Maranatha" ("Our Lord come"), 1 Cor 16,22, is the greeting of all true Christians. We are breaking the Bread "until he comes", 1 Cor 11,26, also The Witness of the Times (WT).

The death of Jesus

- His decision, Mt 16,21; Jn 10,17-18

- Jesus in Jerusalem, Mk 11,15-18

- The Last Supper: At this Supper, four significant events occurred:

- The betrayal of Judas, Mt 26,15.48-49

- The washing of the Apostles' feet, Jn 13,2-20

- The last conversation (instructions), Jn 14,15-17

- The Consecration and commissioning, Mt 26,26-29; Lk 22,19-20

- Trial and crucifixion:

- The Garden of Gethsemane, Mk 14,32-42; Jn 18,2-11

- Gabbatha or the pavement of judgment, Jn 18,12-24; Mk 14,53-65;15,6-10.11-12.13-15; Mt 27,24-25

- Golgotha - Jesus spoke seven times, Lk 23,34.43; Jn 19,26-27; Mt 27,46; Jn 19,28.30; Lk 23,46

- The garden tomb, Lk 23,50-54

The meaning of Christ's death:

From the tomb there rose more than had been planted. A new beginning was coming and, with the new dawn, came life and hope for mankind.

Through the cross we had been freed from the bondage of sin and ransomed from the power of evil.

Jesus died in our place as a substitute for us, taking upon Himself the punishment due to us for our disobedience to God.

The cross reveals not only the depth of mankind's antagonism to God, but also the extent God went to in bringing us back.

The resurrection of Jesus

There is an old Jewish saying: `Everyone has two homes: The place where he now lives and Jerusalem' - this is the saying also of all true Christians (see WT - Only one true "apostolic" Church) - we are all looking to the City of God and for the Return of the resurrected Lord.

Jesus was resurrected by the power of God and brought to a new level of life - Christian resurrection is also a recreation to a new order of life.

What is resurrection:

- Jewish thought, Jb 19,23-27

- Christian thought, 1 Thess 4,13f

Who witnessed the resurrection?

Mt 28,1f; Mk 16,1f; Lk 24,1f.13-32.34; Jn 20,15-16.19-23;21,1-22; Acts 5,29-32.

What does the resurrection mean?

- A sign of God's love and acceptance

- An sign of forgiveness and eternal life

- A fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, Acts 2,14-36;26,22-23

- A guarantee of our own resurrection, 1 Cor 15,17-20

The life of Jesus today

The mission, Mt 28,16-20; Acts 1,8

The Holy Spirit, Jn 14,16.17.26; Rom 12,3-8; 1 Cor 12,1-31; Gal 5,22-23

The Church, see WT - Only one true "apostolic" Church

The Return of Christ - there are many references in Scripture to the return of Jesus to this earth, e.g. Jn 14,3; Acts 1,11; 1 Thess 1,10; 2 Thess 1,5-10; 1 Cor 16,22; Rev 19,11f;20,4f;22,20, see WT - Christ's coming.

The Early Church believed in an imminent, visible and dramatic return of did (could) not happen, see WT.

We continue to wait for His coming, watching the signs of the times and greeting each other: "Maranatha", 1 Cor 16,22.

c. Paul the Apostle and his Ministry


Paul, the Apostle, the prototype for all Apostles, directly chosen by the resurrected Christ - his life, his ministry and generally speaking his activities are guidelines for the Apostles of the End Time.

The Preacher

The preaching-field of the Apostle was the world - private homes, synagogues (churches), public halls and in the open air.

Paul approached his listeners there where they were! and led them to Jesus Christ. He started with something which was relevant to his hearers (see Acts 17,22-31), which they all knew and understood.

His most important teaching subjects:

- The righteousness of God, Rom 1,16f;5,20f; Eph 2,7f;

- The love of God, Rom 5,8-9

- The uniqueness of Christ, Phil 2,6-11; 1 Cor 2,2 - Christianity is never a code of behavior, or an article of belief; it is a living relationship `in Christ'.

- The sinfulness of man, Rom 3,22-26;5,12-21

- Christ - the wisdom and power of God, 1 Cor 1,25-30

- The living Christ, Acts 22,8

- The power of the Cross, 1 Cor 1,17f, also the cross as a present experience: Rom 6,16-18; Phil 2,12f - Our human effort is no condition of salvation, but is a consequence of it.

- Salvation of all who have faith Eph 2,12-16. Alienation has been overcome by reconciliation; condemnation has been annulled by justification; human guilt has been cleansed by expiation through Christ's Blood.

- Justified by God's grace through faith, Rom 1,16-17 - our a. justification by faith is not salvation by belief, but salvation through the saving righteousness of God through incorporation into Christ Jesus (sanctification, see TChJCh - The Teaching of Grace) by an active decision of our will, evidenced through our response of faith and baptisms. b. Adoption, Eph 1,5; c. Mediation, 1 Tim 2,5-6; d. Expiation, propitiation, Rom 3,25; e. Redemption, Rom 8,22-23; f. Reconciliation, Rom 5,1; g. Sanctification, 1 Cor 6,11.

- The Spirit within, Joel 2,28

- Christian life in the Spirit - the Spirit is a. the Guarantee, 2 Cor 1,21-22; b. the Seal, 2 Cor 1,22; c. the Helper, Rom 8,26; d. the Source of all life, Rom 8,10.

While the believer lives in the flesh, he also lives in the Spirit - heaven and earth meet in the believer.

- Transformed life, Eph 2,2f - The Christian is already a new-born person, but he must strive to become what he already is.

- The question of the Law

a. Our righteousness does not lie in our obedience to the Law, but in our faith in what Christ has accomplished for us, Gal 3,5

b. Christ superseded the Law and established the New Covenant, Lk 22,20

- The Church - a. The Body of Christ, 1 Cor 12,27; b. the Bride of Christ, Eph 5,22-27; c. the Household of God, Eph 2,19-21. God does not necessarily need our ability but rather our availability.

- The question of circumcision, Acts 15,7-11

- The question of legalism: A Christian is not saved by the good deeds he does, but because he has been saved he must devote his life to good deeds, see Romans.

Paul developed the concepts of adoption into the Family of God which he had borrowed from the human family; the concept of our emancipation from the bondage of sin, which he took from slavery; the concept of propitiation, from the idea of sacrifice; the concept of reconciliation (to restore to friendship; to make harmonious, to bring to acceptance) from the idea of friendship; and justification developed from the law courts.

- The grace of God, Eph 2,8-9 - God's mercy is such that He chooses to save those who believe in Christ.

- The preaching of the Gospel, 1 Cor 9,16

- The significance of weakness, 2 Cor 12,8-10 - The cross itself was paradoxical, for what was the sign of rejection with men was the sign of acceptance with God. The cross was evidence of futility, but because of God's grace it became the great symbol of man's future. What was the sign of guilt became the emblem of innocence.

- The right love of people, Col 1,28

- The future hope, Rom 8,39

The pastor

The dangers and pressures of his ministry:

- The physical dangers, 2 Cor 11,23-28

- The burden of the churches, Gal 4,11.19

- The pressures of managing the church, Acts 14,21; Rom 15,19-24

- Theological conflicts, Acts 13,45;24,5-9; Phil 3,18-19

- Cultural conflicts, Rom 1,14f; 1 Cor 10,32f

- Distress at failing members, Acts 15,36-40

- Pressures from a materialistic society, Acts 17,16- The pressures from the demands of disturbed and difficult people, Acts 14, 8-11.19; 13,45

- The pain of constant rejection, 2 Tim 1,15

What enabled the Apostle to cope under such pressure?

- He accepted God's call for him, Rom 11,13

- He believed in the significance of his work, Acts 20,24; Rom 15,15-17

- He committed his life to the work of the Gospel, 2 Cor 4,8-9.16

- He disciplined his desires, 1 Thess 2,9; 2 Thess 3,7-8

- He fashioned a bond of caring with his people, Acts 20,36-38

- He gained strength from the support of his friends, Rom 16

- He held fast to the scriptures, Hebrews

- He lived boldly, 2 Cor 5,6f

- He did not carry false guilt, Acts 18,5-6

The Apostle's cross-cultural ministry:

The church is only the Church when she is the Church in mission. The Church is God's agent on earth through which God expresses Himself to the world - God has no other redeeming agency. When people are called to come to Christ, they are called to come to His Body, the community of believers, to take His message to all others, see Acts.

Some obvious criterions:

- Do you have received the Holy Spirit?

- Do you love the Lord sufficiently to leave family, friends, security to take His message to somewhere else?

- Can you relate to other people of different cultures, races, languages, etc.?

- Can you communicate your faith with people?

- Can you live a fairly rugged, independent life?

- Are you willing to serve, not counting the cost?

- Do you have the necessary skills to fulfill the call of the Lord?

The Apostle as agent of change

- All mankind shared an inability to be right with God and a susceptibility to sin - there is no reason for racism: Everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence, Eph 2,11-16. Paul was preaching a new nationhood - one people under God.

- Equality between man and women - respecting the God given differences, 1 Cor 11,3; Eph 5,22f.

- Freedom of man, see his practical standing on slavery, Phil 15-17. Paul was a quiet revolutionary.

The Protagonist

The causes of the clashes:

- The question of the Law:

a. Our righteousness does not lie in our obedience to the Law, but in our faith in what Christ has accomplished for us.

b. The Law was to bring us to faith in Christ and consequently our allegiance is to the person of Christ and not to the Law.

c. Christ superseded the Law by putting people right through faith.

- The question of legalism:

A Christian is not saved by the good deeds he does, but because he has been saved he must devote his life to good deeds.

The prophet

His teaching of

- justification: We are justified by faith through the saving righteousness of God through incorporation into Christ Jesus by an active decision of our will, evidenced through our response of faith in Jesus and baptism (see Rom 1,16-17);

- adoption: Because of His love God decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us His sons (see Eph 1,5);

- mediation was the task Jesus undertook (see 1 Tim 2,5-6);

- expiation is the result of our justification: God offered Jesus, so that by His death He should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in Him (see Rom 3,25);

- redemption is to set free from captivity, or to buy back that which has been pawned (see Rom 8,22-23);

- reconciliation is the result of our redemption. It means that peace has been made between us and God (see Rom 5,1);

- sanctification is the process by which we as saints of God grow in our Christian experience, being `in Christ' and becoming more like Him (see 1 Cor 6,11).

- The warning to turn from sin and rebellion against God, Acts 17,30

- The Age to come, Rom 8,23; 1 Cor 15,51-54;16,22

The fact that Paul actually met the resurrected Jesus (a common factor for all Apostles) changed a belief into a knowledge. He knew that the resurrection is not just a hope but an assurance of what will happen.

His teaching on the life in the Spirit:

- The Holy Spirit is the Guarantee of what God has for us (see 2 Cor 2,21-22);

- The Holy Spirit is the Seal that we belong to God (see 2 Cor 1,22);

- The Holy Spirit is a Helper in our life (see Rom 8,26);

- The Holy Spirit is the Source of all life (see Rom 8,10).

His teaching on the Church:

- The Body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12,27);

- The Bride of Christ (see Eph 5,22-27);

- The Household of God (see Eph 2,19-21).

Some of his other teachings:

- Paul was preaching a new nationhood - one people under God (see 1 Cor 12,12f; Eph 1,22-23; Col 1,18;

- Women are equal (see Gal 3,28) but different;

- Heaven and earth meet in the believer (see 1 Cor 3,21-23);

- The now and than meets in the Church (see 1 Cor 12,27; Rom 8,22-23);

- The importance to live in expectation of the coming of Christ (see 1 Cor 15,51-54);

- Christ is a cosmic Christ who was the agent of God in creation (alpha) and He will be the Omega point to which all history is moving. Through the Son God decided to bring the whole universe back to Himself (see Col 1,20);

- Faith transforms us from mortal to immortal beings. This transformation has already begun! (see 2 Cor 5,1-4).

d. The Early Church

We will start the history of the Early Church with the man whom Jesus made the "Rock" of His church, that is Peter.

In Jesus' day Capernaum was a fishing community stretching for a half a kilometer along the Sea of Galilee. Many events recorded in the New Testament took place at Capernaum. After Jesus left Nazareth, He went to live there and began preaching. Here He called the fishermen to be disciples - among them was Peter.

In the early fifth century, a Spanish pilgrim wrote in her diary: "In Capernaum the house of the Prince of the Apostles (i.e. Peter) became a church". An Italian pilgrim reported the following in about A.D. 570: "We came to Capernaum in the house of St. Peter which is now a basilica".

Archeologists found this sight in 1977 with numerous inscriptions. An interesting inscription is from 3 Baruch 4,4-15: "Bitterness will be turned into sweetness, malediction will be changed into benediction, and the fruit of the vineyard will become the Blood of God" - a reference to the Lord's Supper which was celebrated in this house of Peter.

Peter and his calling, see Jesus and His ministry - The Apostles.

If we just accept people as they are we only make them worse, but if we treat people as they ought to be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming - Jesus did just that with Peter, Lk 5,1-10.

The Father's revelation to Peter - his confession of this revelation, Mt 16,13-19, invited Jesus to make him the "Rock" of His Church.

Paul reveals that the Lord appeared first to Peter and then to other Apostles, 1 Cor 15,5.

Peter's witness

Peter began to proclaim the Good News in the Plaza with great boldness, Acts 2,14f; he preached the crucified and resurrected Lord, Who was the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Peter became the first great preacher of the Christian Church.

Pentecost was the birth of the Church: What had happened was that a new body of people was born, a new nation came into being, and a new relationship between different people of the world was established. From this day on the believers went out to turn the world upside down.

Peter's ministry

See Acts 3,6-8;9,36f, healing ministry; Acts 10, Peter brought the Gentiles into the Church: Peter took the Church out of the confines of Judaism from being a sect of the Jewish faith - he changed the course of the Church.

As the head of the Apostles, he met Paul three years after his conversion, Gal 1,18, then fourteen years later, Gal 2,1, see also Gal 2,7.8.

The Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15,5f:

Peter's strong argument and personal testimony were instrumental in turning the direction of the Early

Church away from being a mere sect of Judaism and thrust her into the mainstream of the Western world.

The Acts of the Apostles

The first twelve chapters of Acts concentrates on Peter, the rest on Paul.

Peter's missionary journeys:

- Judea witnessed the bold proclamation of Peter and John

- Samaritan believers were strengthened by Peter during a time of peace from persecution

- Joppa, Lydda, Caesarea, Acts 2,42;6,7;8,1;9,31;8,14-25;9,32-43

- Antioch had been the coastal center where the issue of Jews and Gentiles eating together had arisen. From there Peter returned to Jerusalem

- Asia Minor was to be the scene of Peter's next missionary journey, and he visited the centers of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia

- Corinth was another center of Peter's ministry, see 1 Cor 1,12

- Peter also visited Rome

The writings of Peter

The Gospel of Mark - Peter told Mark everything about the life and teachings of Jesus. Papias, who was a disciple of John, wrote from Hierapolis in Asia Minor in A.D. 130: "Mark, having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote all that he recalled of what was either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor was he a follower of His, but a later date of Peter". Twenty years later, Justin, writing from Rome, also made the same point, as did Irenaeus writing from Gaul in A.D. 170, and Clement from North Africa in A.D. 180.

The Epistles of Peter: Both Epistles were written from Rome, called Babylon in Revelation, where Rome is portrayed as the harlot Babylon dripping with the blood of the saints.

The persecuted Apostle

In the year 64 Nero burned down the slum area of Rome to build a new city worthy of himself. The fire could not be controlled and many people were burnt to death. In the inquiry that followed, Nero blamed the Christians for starting the fire. As a result, many were brought to trial and put to death for their faith.

Peter turned his back upon the burning city of Rome where his brothers and sisters were suffering. While he was leaving he met Jesus. He looked at Peter and Peter said: "Qou Vadis Domine?" - "Where are you going Lord?" And Jesus said: "I am going to my people, Peter". Peter suddenly realized he should not be turning his back on the people of God and, turning again, he went into the city of Rome. He was taken prisoner and crucified. As they went about to nail him down, he protested that he was not worthy to die as Jesus had so his executioners nailed him on the cross upside down.

This tradition is unanimous: Tacitus quotes it, Clemens adds that it was at the same time as Paul was executed. Also Gaius, Dionysius, Sulpicus Servus, and Tertullian report it.

Stephen the First Martyr (Protomartyr)

Jerusalem was the center of the Church after Pentecost.

The first seven Deacons: They were full of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. They were certainly not just `table waiters', for they also started preaching and evangelizing.

At this time the synagogue was the center of debate and proclamation. Stephen's discourse concentrated on the Law and the Temple and how his listeners had resisted the Holy Spirit and murdered the Righteous Servant of God, Acts 7.

All that was central to the life of the Jews was now fulfilled and focused in Jesus Christ. In this insight was the seed of the equality of Jew and Gentile within the Church and the end of the unique place of Judaism. Stephen declared that the new had come, therefore the old must go.

Stephen no sooner entered church history than he left it, Acts 7,55f, but not without having profound effect, Acts 8.

James and Jude

James, the brother of Jesus, witnessed the resurrected Jesus and that changed his whole life. 1 Cor 15,7.

He became the head of the Church in Jerusalem, Acts 15,13f;21,18; Gal 1,19; 2,9. While the Apostles went to different parts of the world preaching the Gospel, James was entrusted to care for the central Church of Christendom.

Clement of Alexandria, a "Church Father", indicates that James was chosen for the leadership of the Church in Jerusalem by Peter and John.

He also had a major contribution on the Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15,13f.

The Letter of James: James was a great man of faith and his faith was a practical faith. He teaches about testing, wisdom, wealth, speech, envy, patience, prayer and neighborly conduct.

His two major points:

1. Faith must be expressed in caring, Jas 1,26.27.

2. Faith must be expressed in action, Jas 2,14-17.

Jude, the son of James, Lk 6,16, and his teaching:

See The ministry of Jesus - the Apostles.

"Fight on for the faith which once and for all God had given for his people", Jude 3.

We have hearts to love and hands to serve - the Church is not just a group of people who have beliefs; she is a family of servants who are willing to help.

Timothy and Titus, see Acts and the Letters of the NT

It was in the area of Derbe that Timothy first met Paul and became a Christian. Nearby Paul also met Titus and these two young men, both in their early twenties, continued on the missionary journey with Paul and became two of the first appointed Ministers of the early Church.

The Holy Spirit used them in various ways: As evangelists to preach the Gospel; as shepherds, to help the newly founded churches grow until bishops or presbyters (elders) were appointed, etc.

Timothy was to go to Thessalonica, to Corinth, to Philippi and to Ephesus, while Titus was to be sent to Corinth, to Crete, to Nicopolis, to Dalmatia (now Yugoslavia) and to the area known today as Albania.

Titus was a Gentile and not circumcised and some of the Jewish Christians were scandalized by this. They insisted that Titus be circumcised, but Paul refused, Gal 2,1f.

Part of his ministry was to correct a particular church situation and to work in the difficult city of Corinth. The church was burdened by internal divisions and unworthy behavior, while some had disputed Paul's leadership and authority, 2 Cor.

After this task Titus went to meet Paul in Macedonia. Paul sent him back to Corinth to continue to build the believers up in their faith and to make arrangements for the special offering that was required for the poor in Jerusalem.

One of the Pastoral Letters is addressed to him ( see also the Letters to Timothy):

- right doctrine, 1 Tim 1,3-7 - Christians were not people who opposed the Law; they obeyed it, yet did not live their lives in bondage to it. They live in accordance with the Law's demands, not by obeying rules, but by being close followers of Jesus who fulfilled the Law.

- good leadership - they had to be mature Christian characters so as to produce maturity in others.

- the Scripture should be taught - 2 Tim 3,14-17. Paul's thinking was that Timothy could safeguard himself by testing his own thoughts against those of Paul who had taught him the faith - this is the example and teaching of a living Apostle, see WT - Only one true "apostolic" Church. All the Apostle's life and teaching were (are) yardsticks against whom the believers should check their words and actions.

There is a constancy about true Christian teaching. What is said and written is seen in the life of the Master and those who knew (know) Him and were (are) appointed by Him to be Apostles. The test we have is to align our words and actions with those of the Scripture, and our characters with those of the Master and His Apostles.

Timothy came from a mixed marriage. His mother, Eunice, 2 Tim 1,5, was a Jew and his father was a Greek. That mixed marriage gave Timothy an insight into both cultures.

His Greek cultural background was to help Timothy when he went and administered in the Greek cities of Corinth, Nicopolis, Thessalonica and Philippi, Phil 2,19-24, Berea, Athens.

Two of the Pastoral Letters are addressed to him.

These letters are full of advice to the young minister on how to handle believers and situations that arise in church life.

Throughout his life, the picture of Timothy is one of a hard-working and faithful Servant of the Lord who traveled widely to a number of the churches, counseling and guiding their spiritual growth.

The Persecutions

The Christians in Jerusalem suffered constant persecution throughout the first forty years of the churches' existence.

The persecution caused many Christians to flee to outlying areas - Damascus, Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.

Nero's persecution was a local one.

The Roman general Titus, later emperor (from A.D. 66 called Vespasian), set the stage for international persecution and execution.

The Underground Church

To escape the threats of persecution, Roman Christians hid in underground tunnels and caves cut in the soft volcanic tufa used originally as burial chambers. There are more than forty such catacombs around Rome covering about eight hundred kilometers of tunnels and ledges.

The catacombs were important sources of early examples of Christian art, and words and prayers of the faithful are written on the walls. The traditional symbols of anchors, ships, fish, crosses and pictures of the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb were all commonly used.

The early Church was born in blood and persecution - out of persecution Christians saw God's plan for the future being woven.


John was with Andrew when they first heard about Jesus of Nazareth. They were both fishermen and they had been listening to John the Baptist down by the river Jordan. John the Baptist had pointed them toward Jesus and Jesus had invited them to come and follow Him, Jn 1,35f.

Jesus called them to "catch men", Mt 4,19.

With his brother he was nicknamed "the sons of thunder", Mk 3,17. The two sets of brothers - Simon Peter and Andrew, and John and James - became the nucleus within the band of disciples.

Frequently Scripture mentions that Peter, John and James went ahead with Jesus and they formed a close personal band: Transfiguration, the inner room of Jairus' house, the Passover meal John sat next to Jesus, Garden of Gethsemane, at the trial of Jesus before Caiphas, Mt 17,1f; Mk 5,37f;14,32f; Jn 13,23f; 18,15f.

It was into John's care that Jesus entrusted His widowed mother Mary, Jn 19,26f. John cared for Mary throughout the rest of her life and she traveled with him to Ephesus, where she died and was taken up to heaven - Assumption of Mary (pre-gleaning). Beside John the Apostle and others, Joseph of Arimathea was also present for this important event.

On the morning of the resurrection, Peter and John ran to the tomb, Jn 20,3f.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter and John proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were imprisoned together, Acts 3 and 4.

John was one of the pillars of the Church, Gal 2,9.

He was exiled on the island of Patmos, Rev 1,9, during the persecution of the Emperor Domitian. Five consecutive emperors persecuted the Church during the lifetime of John.

John in Ephesus

Irenaeus, Eusebius, Papias and Dionysius who wrote not long after John's death, referred to his ministry in Ephesus.

Polycrates, who was bishop of Ephesus at the end of the second century, stated that Apostle John died in Ephesus where he was buried.

The Gospel of John

It was in Ephesus that John wrote the great Gospel that bore his name.

He wrote with intimacy and personal knowledge of the events surrounding the life of Jesus.

He gives us a great deal of eyewitness detail and personal information on characters involved in the life of Jesus.

John's purpose in writing, Jn 20,31.

John wrote three letters from Ephesus - the time is urgent; there are already false teachers and prophets in the Church, denying that Jesus is the Son of God who came in the flesh to save humankind.

On the island of Patmos, John wrote The Revelations - this visionary book shows what will happen in the future, and emphasizes that God is in control -

He patiently works out the future for those whom He loves.

He makes known to the believers the hidden secrets of the future, and Jesus Christ Who is both the One Who makes the revelation and Who is the object of the revelation.

The purpose of this book, Rev 1,1-3.

The Revelation lifts the heart of the believers and grant them the knowledge of ultimate vindication and triumph over wrong.

Maranatha, Rev 22,20.

After some years of exile, John was released from the island of Patmos and allowed to return to Ephesus.

The old man, now in his nineties, lived for several more years, dying peacefully some time after A.D. 98.

Ireneus, one of the early church historians, said that in advanced old age he was frequently carried to meetings where he would always greet the believers with the statement: "Little children, love one another".

The symbol of John has always been an eagle.

e. Mary and her Ministry

See also WT - Visions; New Testament Commentary; Teaching of the Church of Jesus the Christ.

Comment: The human person is given once-for-all at conception. Nevertheless he is not given all-at-once. No one reaches personality in a rush. There is the long and slow maturation from babyhood through childhood and adolescence to adulthood and beyond into the westering sun of declining years. It is the same person who experiencing these successive stages - the person given once-for-all, but not given all-at-once.

So it is with the revelation of God; so it is with the Christ-event, its seizure and transmission through the Apostles also of the End-time. Given once-for-all, the Christ-event is not given all-at-once, see Jn 16,13.

Mary's parents:

Joachim and Anna.

Joachim was of Davidic descent, a priest. His Biblical name was Heli, Lk 3,23.

Althougn Ahha was barren and of an advanced age she conceived Mary. At an age when to bear a child was biologically impossible, an angel of the Lord appeared to her with the message: "The Lord has granted your supplication; you will conceive. The child you will bear will be hailed throughout the earth."

After Mary's birth Anna kept Mary until the age when she could be brought to the Temple - as she promised in her supplication: "Truly, as the Lord my God lives, if I bear a child, I will consecrate it to the Lord. It shall serve Him all its life."

Mary was educated in the Temple - she could write and read and she received knowledge of the Bible. The decision to marry Joseph was certainly in line with the Divine will.

Her conception and some other details of her pregnancy - visiting her cousin Elizabeth, encounter with Joseph, her finance; the circumstances of birth; the flight to Egypt; settling in Nazareth; presentation in the Temple are briefly described by the Synoptics. Some important details of Mary's walk with Jesus can be draw from the Gospel of John - the marriage of Cana, Jn 2,1f; the scene under the cross, Jn 19,25-27.

Mary must of have lived with a deep expectation of the coming of the Messiah. She had to have a firm belief (foreboding) that this will concern her in a special way.

It was therefore a very personal expectation.

In this condition of "knowing and not knowing" she persevered and lived within the incomprehensibility of God's plans.

The approach of the angel expresses the freedom of Mary and inquires whether she is ready to take on the task offered to her by God - she should (live) co-act in obedience with God's will.

What is asked of Mary is a step into the unknown - a step in faith. She should dare to venture into an existence which is impossible in the sphere of nature - she should conceive without a human agent.

In this hour she decided to live exclusively in (out of ) faith. In this faith Mary proceeds from the Old Testament into the New and becomes a Christian.

As the conception happened, she became the Gate of the future.

The Magnificat of Mary, Lk 1,46f, is a testimony of her consciousness of the great blessedness of her election.

The wandering-existence of Joseph and Mary has an Old Testament motive throughout - break away from old roots and a start into the unknown.

In all this Mary remained truly a human being - also in her relationship to her Son: In the midst of intimacy there was a distance, an incomplete understanding, Lk 2,50 (the reports of the Gospels are evidence of this), her Son remained incomprehensible to her during His entire mission - a comprehensive knowledge of Christ would have been unbearable for her and the intimacy, which is an essential part of a relationship between a mother and child, would have been lost. She, like every other human being, had to grow and develop - what marked her as unique was a faith which persevered in this tension until God was ready to shed light on these mysteries. Understanding of many things, as for the Apostles, was given to her at Pentecost.

After the resurrection of Jesus Mary is among the Apostles, Acts 1,12f.

Illuminated by the Holy Spirit, she now understands the role of her Son and sees herself as the Mother of the Messiah, knows that she is redeemed, knows that He is the Son of the eternal Father and her Son.

The tradition of the Original Church and my visions bear witness to Mary making her home with John. As John moved to Ephesus, she moved with him. Mary never appeared before the public, but many intimate details of the Gospels show her knowledge, show traces of her information.

St. Luke was also a close friend of Mary - his Gospel includes detailed accounts of Mary's experiences before and after Jesus was born.

Mary's life, born without sin, was for us incomprehensibly deeper then ours.

The Bible is mostly silent about her life - but silence is not significant: The Bible is silent also about the extremely important preparatory years of Jesus.

Mary died in Ephesus. It is here that she was changed and taken into heaven - Assumption.

Some of Mary's characteristics:

Woman of humility, dignity, poise and serenity (annunciation, Calvary); of unstinted generosity and wholehearted commitment to the Lord's will (her Yes at annunciation); of exceptional faith (Lk 1,45); of a prayerfulness not only personal and solitary but also within a community (Acts 1,14). Majesty of self-control; courage - Stabat Mater (Calvary).

Mary the Mother of God - Theotokos:

In the first centuries of Christianity, no one questioned this title. An ancient prayer (~250 A.D.) confirms that: "We fly to your protection, holy Mother of God". Gregory of Nazianzum (382) waved Theotokos as a flag of orthodoxy. St. John Damascene (~750) wrote: "Rightly and truly we call holy Mary Theotokos. For this title epitomizes the whole mystery of the incarnation (oikonomia). For if the Mother of God gave birth, it is certainly God who is born from her" (De fide orthodoxa, book 3, chapter 12), also Rom 1,3-4.

Mary's immaculate Conception:

Mary was sinless not because she did not need a Savior - she was not less but more redeemed than we are. Her redemption was not of our sort - she was preserved, while we are liberated.

God went to the extraordinary length of removing in advance such sins (inclusive of the Original Sin) as she would otherwise have committed had she not been filled from the first instant of her being with His Holy Spirit.

Mary's virginity:

- Before birth, Is 7,14;

- In birth: If even at Christ's birth Mary's virginity had been violated, He would no longer be born of a virgin;

- After birth: She was virginal in the whole conduct of her life, in every aspect of it.

Mediatrix roll of Mary:

"There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all", 1 Tim 2,5f.

Anything Mary can do derives in its totality from Christ - Christ as mediator enables His Mother to draw man to Him - her Madiatrix roll in the End Time will dramatically increase, see the book Witness of the Times - Visions.

Mary's role in salvation-history originated not from some inner necessity, but from the divine wisdom - her role as mediator is a secondary and subordinated one.

Indeed all Christians are summoned to play a role as a mediator. This means that they must co-operate with the Lord, first in their own salvation, and secondly in the salvation of others, Mt 28,18-20; 1 Cor 3,9; 2 Cor 5,18.20, etc.

The Saints and their roles as mediators are not cut off by death - we naturally continue to cultivate the mind of Christ – The Intercessor.

At the Right Hand of The Father, Jesus continues to intercede for us, Hebr 7,25 - so also the Saints. What applies to all Saints as mediators, applies a fortiori to the Mother of God.

The first Eve, designated by Scripture "the mother of all the living", Gn 3,20; Mary, the New Eve, is in the deepest sense the mother of all the redeemed - she is the Mother of Jesus, The Life and The Life-bringer, the head of the human race. She was the mediator of Jesus to us, not just biologically, but through her obedience and faith: She is truly a mediatrix.

The Mother of Christ is the Mother of the Church and all true Christians. Nobody can have the Church as mother who has not Mary as his heavenly mother.

Mary's Assumption:

The first man was given a proximity to God which allowed him not to die but at his "appointed" time to pass over to God.

After the fall:

One dies. As a disembodied spirit one enjoys the beatific vision together with essential bliss in the company of Christ; then on the day of resurrection the glorified body joins the heavenly glory.

Mary underwent bodily death like Jesus, but was immediately resurrected and entered into glory with transfigured body and soul.

Assumption is not an occurrence exclusive to Mary, see Gn 5,24; Mt 27,51-53, etc.

26. The Essenes - the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Essenes, were members of a Jewish sect living in the Holy Land from about 150 B.C. to A.D. 68. They numbered about 4,000 and had a communal life. Essenes were ascetics, preparing themselves for the Coming of the Messiah.

The Essenes saw the world as a scene of the conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, truth and falsehood.

The Essenes were wiped out by the Romans. As they saw the end coming they hid their writings. In the late 1940's and the 50's the remains of their settlement and jars of scrolls of these writings were found at and around Khirbat Qumran near the Dead Sea. Some of these scrolls are the oldest Biblical manuscripts yet found.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have many teachings that are not compatible with New Testament teachings. The disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah who had come as a suffering servant to redeem Israel, whereas the Essenes were looking to the fulfillment of Mosaic Law by an all-conquering Messiah. Salvation for the Essenes was only for a few who were the elect because they were children of the light, whereas the disciples preached salvation by faith in Jesus as Christ.

The Scrolls have many similar features to that of the Gospel of John in that they emphasize sin, repentance, etc.

27. Drugs - Drug-abuse

Every addiction diminishes the will-power and increases the possibility of demonic infiltration.

The Bible teaches us: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you", Jas 4,7 -

to "resist" is a function of the will.

No addiction is harmless; no drug addiction is acceptable. There may be socially acceptable drug addictions, like nicotine, hashish, coffee, etc. - but there are no Christian-acceptable ones.

The body of a Christian is a "temple of the Holy Spirit", 1 Cor 6,19 - do not pollute this temple!

Drug-addicts, after accepting Christ into their lives, have to be delivered, see Church of Christ - People of God on the Way (ChCh) - Christian Counseling.

What are drugs?

A drug is any chemical substance which affects the normal way that a person's mind, spirit or body works.

Some drugs occur naturally in plants - like nicotine in tobacco and  in cannabis. Other drugs are manufactured - like alcohol, aspirin or tranquilizers.

Why do people use drugs?

- Medical reasons;

- Artificial problem-solvers: They are not the answer for solving problems;

- To be socially acceptable - peer pressure;

- Try to control stress, or to relieve other uncomfortable feelings;

- For pleasure;

- Try to deal with boring or frustrating situations;

- Use as stimulants to overcome feelings of depression or constant tiredness;

- To give themselves an artificial boost;

- Some drugs are used to calm down, or unwind.

What drugs do people use?

Very broadly, drugs can be divided into three categories:

Legal social drugs like alcohol, caffeine, etc.;

Legal medicinal drugs like pain-killers and tranquilizers;

Illegal and restricted drugs like heroin, cannabis*, etc.

* Cannabis, a legal definition: Marijuana is an illegal drug that produces psychological and physical effects. It is ,made from the dried leaves and flowering tops of the hemp plant.

The problems of drug-misuse

It causes damage to the physical, spiritual, mental and social well-being.

- Spiritual health: It increases the danger of demonic infiltration and can lead to demonic possession;

- Personal health: It increases the danger of accidents, diseases caused by or related to use, withdrawal, death;

- Relationships: It may lead to marital conflicts, tense family life, sexual difficulties, separations, physical or verbal violence, child abuse, divorce;

- Social functioning: It may lead to dangerous behavior, financial or employment difficulties, disrupted friendships (or having the wrong friendships), legal or accommodational problems.

Drug use leads to increasing criminal activities.


Accept Christ into your life and get delivered. Live within a Christ-centered Church-community.


How alcohol affects you:

The brain is affected almost as soon as one begins to drink.

First affected are the nerve centers controlling inhibitions and self control - so one feels less inhibited, as though the alcohol is giving one a "lift". If one goes on drinking, reactions and judgment become more and more affected - thoughts and actions grow slower and slower and eventually, if one keeps drinking, one falls asleep.

However, the risk of having an accident could be just as great in the early stages of drinking, when one feels overconfident and has not yet noticed the alcohol's effects on one's reaction - alcohol makes one more likely to take risks; it affects judgment, makes one less alert and slows the reactions.

It may cause menstrual disorders, increased risk of miscarriage, premature or stillbirth, infertility, risk of birth defects. It may also cause weight-gain and increase in blood pressure. One risks liver damage, ulcers of the digestive system, as well as heart muscle damage.

Blood alcohol concentration:

The amount of alcohol that affects behavior can vary considerably from one person to another, so it is impossible to say what is a "safe" level for everybody.

The chance of having a serious accident rises steeply as BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) increases.

The safest way to operate any vehicle, is not to drink at all!

The blood carries alcohol to all parts of the body. The body gets rid of a very small amount of alcohol through the lungs (breath), the skin (sweat) and the kidneys (urine). Alcohol is processed by the liver. It takes a full hour for a healthy body to rid itself of the alcohol from one standard drink (standard drink will raise the BAC of an average man by as much as 0.02%, and an 0.03% for an average woman). There is no way one can hurry up this process.

Smoking cigarettes

Nicotine in tobacco is a very addictive and damaging drug.

Smoking and fitness:

Smokers are not able to perform physical activities as well as non-smokers - they literally run out of puff.

Most smokers started smoking when they were very young because of the image smoking had - it was glamorous, the ads convinced them it looked good and their friends did it. By the time they realized what they were doing to their bodies, they were addicted.

Smoking and vascular disease:

Carbon monoxide is one of the 2000 chemicals that cigarette smoke contains. When cigarette is smoked, carbon monoxide thickens the blood and cuts off oxygen to areas such as the toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands and ultimately the heart - increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Nine out of ten sufferers of vascular disease are cigarette smokers.

Smoking and the teeth:

Cigarettes stain teeth like rust. People who smoke are more susceptible to plaque build-up in their teeth. Stained teeth and bad breath are only the beginning of dental problems caused by smoking.

Smokers are also more likely to get mouth ulcers, oral cancers and lung cancers.

Smoking and skin:

The skin of a smoker is generally much less elastic and the upper lip usually carries a taint yellow stain.

Smoking starves the skin of oxygen, thereby preventing the skin cells from renewing themselves and regenerating.

Nicotine from the cigarette invades the dermis, the region of the skin where regeneration takes place. It then damages the collagen and elastin fibers that are essential for firm healthy skin.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It regulates temperature, protects the internal organs from infection and helps dispose of substances such as excess water and salt. The damaging of this organ may therefore lead to numerous complications and illnesses.


See p.15

Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant.

Hashish is made from the plant's resin.

Hashish oil is a concentrated liquid extract from the plant.

All these products come from the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa.

The main ingredient in cannabis which affects the user's behavior is a chemical called THC. This is absorbed into the bloodstream and the blood then carries THC to the brain. It is the action of the THC on the brain which produces the characteristic "stoned" feeling. THC is stored in the fat tissues, which means the chemical will stay in the body for several days.

It is alarming how many traffic accidents are caused by drug abuse, including the use of Cannabis. The affect of this drug on drivers is somewhat similar to alcohol. For example, it slows down thinking and reactions; makes the person less aware of what is going on around him.


Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals. When smoked, it produces over 2000 chemicals that enter the body through the lungs. These chemicals have a varied of immediate, short-term effects. In addition, the regular use of marijuana has been linked to a number of long-term effects.

The effects of cannabis vary according to the amount and strength of the drug, from personality and mood.

Small doses produce short-term effects of marijuana include both psychological and physical reactions. These reactions usually last for three to five hours after the person has smoked it. Euphoria, loss of inhibition, loss of concentration, impaired balance and co-ordination, increased pulse and heart rate and reddened eyes. Some of the psychological reactions, known as a `high,' consists of changes in the user's feelings and thoughts.

Large doses make these effects stronger. They can also change perceptions of time, sound, color, distance, touch or other sensations.

Large doses cause: Confusion, restlessness, feelings of excitement, hallucinations and anxiety or panic.

The main risks associated with long-term cannabis use:

Scientists have recently discovered recepIFY" DIR="LTR">1. Pain: It may be expressed as hurt, loss, grief, sadness, loneliness or depression.

2. Anger: Anger may come out as hostility, bitterness, malice, revengefulness or spite.3. Guilt can manifest itself in:

a. Regret - which is a passive state;

b. Remorse or condemnation - a negative and unproductive state, often mixed with self-pity;

c. Repentance - which can lead to positive amendment.

Repentance is not only a sorrow for our wrongdoing but a turning from it with a desire to make restitution and recompense and to rectify our wrong attitudes and behaviors.

4. Fear - include apprehension, alarm, anxiety, dread and panic (We made a distinction between fear and dread in the book "Introduction to Genuine Christian Life.")

5. Jealousy or envy: Resentment over the loss of...(it can be anything); or not able to have...(it also can be anything).

6. Alienation, estrangement, apathy and indifference.

Behavior patterns:

The basic behavior patterns that results from the above mentioned states of mind and feelings can be characterized as either fight or flight or swinging between both extremes.

Intervening to help:

We need to concentrate, not on the techniques of handling the person's varying emotional moods or mental states, but on manifesting love, trust, respect and honor and a genuine attempt to understand them and what they are going through.

When there is patient, intelligent, sacrificial and caring listening the troubled person can often find the courage to discharge his or her mental confusion and emotional turmoil.


Reconciliation has two main meanings. It signifies the restoration of accord and harmony between parties who were at odds with one another or it refers to the settling of a dispute or disagreement between parties.

The aim of reconciliation is the restoration of righteousness.

To be righteous is to be made right with God in a relationship of accord and harmony.

Reconciliation involves a change of attitudes.

Reconciliation is totally foreign to us because it is wholly dependent on divine grace.

The Cross of Christ IS THE effective means of ALL reconciliation.

The Cross is the divine intervention in all disputes. It is redemption reaching as far as sin has gone and restoring all that sin has damaged. The Cross is God reconciling all things to Himself. Only the atonement makes us at one again - only the Cross restores.

There is a resource of love in the Cross that can regenerate human love that has been so hurt that it has finally died.

Christians have an awesome responsibility in a deeply divided world because to us God has given the particular ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5,18).

Persons are reconciled and not problems:

Reconciliation God's way means that we must first of all find each other as persons.

God is persistent, patient and quite relentless in problem salving, but He does it only after we are reconciled, not before. Problem solving is one of the results of reconciliation.

Steps towards reconciliation:

Take the initiative - reach out.

Let resentment go - this is an act of will.

Separate the person from what he or she has done.

Repentance: To begin with we have to realize that both by our actions and our reactions we have sinned against and grieved the Holy Spirit.

Coming to each other in the attitude of repentance and humility we can ask for and give forgiveness for our estrangement, and by faith in the reconciling work of the Cross we can receive each other into a new relationship.

Problem solving in relationships - is a process of sanctification:

The given self is the fulfilled self!

1. Forbearance: Is the ability not to be unduly upset or irritated by the faults or weaknesses of others. It is an active bearing with and bearing each other's burden. It is patience and gentleness, waiting for the appropriate time to approach the matter in a positive and helpful way.

The two main reasons why we often find forbearance difficult:

a. A lack of compassion and inability to identify with the other person's failings;

b. An unwillingness to face up to our own weaknesses and unexplored tendencies that are probably equally irritating to the other person.

2. Unresolved hurts from the past: Something that was buried has now surfaced and there is now a chance for us to deal with the issue. Wounds in our feelings must be brought to Christ for cleansing and healing.

3. Unintentional wrongs: Even here we have to put things right.

4. Anger:

What is anger? Anger is one of our God-given emotions, it is in fact one of the emergency arousal of emotions and its function is to release mental energy to enable us to face a crisis or danger.

However, "In your anger, do not sin..." (see Eph 4,26).

5. Forgiveness is different from pardon, only God can pardon our sin. Forgiveness is dealing with our feelings and our response towards the one who has injured us. It is letting them go free of recrimination or retribution as far as our desires are concerned.

What if there is no response? Trust the future of the relationship into God's hands.

"Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23,34).

7. Ash Wednesday

The ashes are made out of burned plants. The ashes should be blessed and distributed during the Eucharist.

Signing the forehead with ashes in a form of a double-cross, the celebrant says: "Remember man that you are dust and to dust you shall return". We are reminded of our origin.

Lent is the time of fasting, increased prayer and alms-giving. We are preparing ourselves to commemorate the death (Good Friday) and the resurrection (Easter Sunday) of our Lord.




It is an immensely valuable historical and spiritual experience to participate in a Jewish Seder. This could take place in the home of a Messianic Jew. The Seder familiarizes the participants with the background to the Eucharist by evoking the original context of the Christian Pascha – the Last Supper.

In the Liturgy of the Seder we experience something of the worship Jesus the Jew knew and loved. We find ourselves moved and powerfully included in this ancient living tradition.

Christian Liturgy is a wild olive branch grafted (compare Rom 11,19) on the Jewish cultivated liturgical tree (compare Rom 11,24). Judaism is our parent faith!

An other important effect of our participation in this ancient Jewish liturgy is that we learn to love the Jews as God's chosen people, people of divine covenant which has never been revoked (see Rom 11,28-31).

The Seder (Hebrew = sedher)

commemorates the Exodus from Egypt on Passover, the deliverance of the Jews from slavery: God brought them out from Egypt, through the waters of the Red Sea (see Ex 14,22), to the freedom of the Promised Land (see Josh).

The Passover of the New Covenant

should take place within the Body of Christ, that is, within the church-community. It commemorates (see Lk 22,19-20) God bringing His Son Jesus Christ through the deep waters of death and raising Him (see Lk 24), and in Him us as Christians, to the eternal freedom of the life of triumph (see Col 3,4). The Passover of the New Covenant is the celebration of our `passing over' IN Christ from the slavery of sin to the promise land of the liberty of the Children of God.

Christ elevated the Seder to the Passover of the "New Covenant" (see Lk 22,20b). The symbols of the Seder are pointing to the Messiah (still hidden for our Jewish brethren), anticipating His coming. These symbols are fulfilled in the Passover of the New Covenant: The Messiah Jesus the Christ has arrived!

The Menu and its Meanings:

We are looking at symbols which are fulfilled in the New Covenant.

(The commentator explains the different symbols and shows the participants the different ingredients used in this service)


Four times in this ceremony a cup of wine is poured, each a symbol of joy and thanksgiving. The four cups, each with a different name, represent the four "I will" promises which Yahweh made to His People:

1. The cup of Kiddush: "I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians" - of satan;

2. The cup of Haffadah: "I will deliver you from your bondage" - of sin;

3. The cup of Thanksgiving: "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment";

4. The cup of Berakah (blessing): "I will take you for my people" (compare Ex 6,6.7).

Roast Lamb:

A reminder of the Paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ.


Symbol of the freewill offering which accompanies the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb and the Temple in which sacrifices were brought.

Egg hides life – the free-will sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb gave us life.

Egg is also a symbol of the temple – the place of Jewish sacrifice.

Unleavened Bread (Matzah):

Called "the bread of affliction", a reminder of the Israelites' hurried flight out of Egypt - our hurried flight from the slavery of sin.

Green vegetable:

Lettuce and parsley - symbol of life and hope fulfilled in Christ.


In memory of the tears shed by the captive Israelites during the years of bondage - our sorrow for our sins.


A paste of apples, almonds, raisins and cinnamon, representing the mortar the Israelite slaves used to build Egypt's pagan monuments - reminding us of our ungodly past, pursuing (`building') our own plans.

Bitter herbs (horseradish):

Symbolizes the bitterness of slavery - our captivity in sin.

The Order of the Passover Seder


[The Old Testament Seder and the New Covenant Passover often run parallel throughout the liturgy.]



The light is the symbol of Christ, the light of the world (see Jn 8,12).

All gather round the tables and stand quietly. The hostess says the traditional prayer of the mother* of the "family" as she lights the candles at the head table.

* As the woman begins the Seder and gives light to the Passover table, so it was a woman who began the redemptive life-work of the Messiah, our Passover, by giving birth to the Light of the world.

Mother: Blessed are You, O Lord our King, King of the universe, who have sanctified us and commanded us to light the festival lights.

All: Amen!


Leader: (explains clearly what he is doing and shows the participants what

they should do by demonstrating the different actions)

The first ceremony of the Passover is a benediction.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the

fruit of the wine.

(The first cup of the vine is poured but not yet drunk)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have chosen us above all people and have exalted us above all tongues and have hallowed us. With love You have given us, O Lord, festivals for joy - this Passover feast, this feast of freedom, a holy gathering to remember our Exodus. You have chosen us and given us a heritage of festivals for joy and gladness. Blessed are You, O Lord, who sanctify God's People and the festive seasons.

All: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season.

(The first cup of wine is drunk)


Leader: The second ceremony of the Passover is the washing of hands, a symbolic act of purification.

( Only the Leader washes his hands in ritual preparation to eat)


As the Matza, the unleavened bread, is broken, the Leader says:

This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Bondage. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in want, come and celebrate the Passover with us. May it be God's will to redeem us from all evil and all bondage.

Leader: The Matza is broken into three parts*. The middle Matzah** is hidden and will be eaten at the very end of the meal. This is the bread which is used for the Eucharistic Celebration.

* These parts symbolize the Trinity. ** The middle Matza is a symbol of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.

(The Leader now hides the "middle Matzah")


(SEDER Narrative)

(The second cup of wine is poured, but not yet drunk)

Youngest member of the "family":

Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread. So why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?

On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs?

On all other nights we do not dip herbs in any condiment. Why on this night do we dip them in salt water and haroseth?

On all other nights we eat without special festivities. Why on this night do we hold this Passover ceremony?

Leader: You have asked four important questions which involve four unusual practices and ceremonies which take place at the Passover table. To find the answers we must go back to the early history of our people, to the days of Moses and Aaron, when Israel was in slavery in Egypt.

Eldest person at the feast:

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but God brought us out from there "with a strong hand and an outstretched arm". If the Holy One, blessed be He!, had not brought us our of Egypt, we and our children and our children's children would still be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. The Lord commanded us to tell this story to our children. The more we talk about the Exodus, the more God is exalted.

A wandering people were our fathers, as they went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number. There they became a great and mighty nation. The Egyptians treated them harshly, afflicted them and laid upon them hard bondage. Then they cried to the Lord and He heard their voice and saw their affliction, their toil and oppression.

Leader: Pharaoh defied God's command and refused to release the Israelites. Because of this and because of the evilness of the Egyptians, the Lord afflicted the land of Egypt with ten plagues.

(As each plague is mentioned, the Leader dips a finger in the cup and "spills" a drop of wine into the salt water)

Water turned into blood.

The swarm of frogs.

Gnats on man and beast.

Swarms of flies.

Pestilence upon cattle and flocks.

Boils and sores on man and beast.

Hail and fire upon the earth.

Locusts on the face of the land.

Thick darkness in all the land.

The slaying of the first-born.

We will not drinking the cup of delight (second cup) wholly, for we cannot celebrate the feast of deliverance full of joy when so many human beings have perished. In spilling wine, we recall the plagues sent upon the Egyptians and the evil and suffering still existing in the world today.

Eldest person:

The Lord brought our fathers out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders, and He brought them into this place and gave them this land - a land flowing with milk and honey.

(The Leader lifts the Lamb bone)

All: What is the meaning of Pesach?

Leader: Pesach means the Paschal Lamb which our forefathers sacrificed to the Lord that night when the Holy One passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt; as it is written: "When your children say to you, `What do you mean by this festival?' you shall say, `It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover; for He passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he slew the Egyptians but spared our houses'" (Ex 12,26.27).

As the Blood of the Passover Lamb saved the Israelites in Egypt from death, so also the Lamb of God, the Messiah, save God's People from eternal death.

(The Leader holds up a piece of unleavened bread)

All: What is the meaning of Matza?

Leader: This is the bread of affliction which our fathers took with them out of Egypt, as it is written: "And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not tarry; neither had they prepared for themselves any provisions" (Ex 12,39).

The hidden Matzah, which we will find at the end of supper, is the symbol of the Messiah, still hidden from the eyes of the children of the First Covenant.

(The Leader holds up the bitter herbs)

All: What is the meaning of Maror?

Leader: Maror means bitter herbs. We eat maror to recall that the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers, as it is written: "So they made the people of Israel serve with rigor, and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field" (Ex 1,13.14).

God's People of the New Covenant remember their bitter bondage in sin, being enslaved by the devil.

All: What is the meaning of the Sweet Hero Seth?

Leader: The Hero Seth reminds us of the mortar used by our forefathers in their brick-works in Egypt. It is sweet because even the bitterest labor is sweetened by the promise of redemption.

We, the People of the New Covenant, gratefully remember our redemption.

All: What is the meaning of the Egg?

Leader: The Egg is the symbol of life, which we received from the Lord our Deliverer from bondage - the bondage of satan.

All: What is the meaning of the green Vegetable and the Salt-water?

Leader: The greens represent the life of the Israelites; the salt water their tears: They remind us that the life of the Israelites were "dipped" into tears in Egypt.

In every generation, each person must know that he himself came out of bondage. As the Bible says: "And you shall tell your son in that day, `It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt'" (Ex 13,8). God did not only redeem our ancestors, but He also redeemed us. As it says: "And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land which he swore to give to our fathers" (Deut 6,23).

All: We thank God. We praise, glorify, exalt and bless Yahweh, who did all these miracles for our ancestors and us. He brought us from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from darkness to a great light, from servitude to redemption. Let us sing a new song: HALLELUJAH!

Recite Psalm 114 (alternately)

Leader: When Israel came out of Egypt and the house of Jacob from among a people of alien tongue, Judah became God's sanctuary and Israel His dominion.

All: The sea saw that and fled; Jordan was driven back.

The mountains skipped like young rams, and the little hills like young sheep.

Leader: What ailed you, O sea, that you fled;

O Jordan, that you were driven back?

All: Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord;

at the presence of the God of Jacob,

who turned the rock into a pool of water

and the flint-stone into a welling spring.

Praise the Lord!

(The Leader takes the cup into his hands)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord, King of the universe, who have redeemed us and have redeemed our fathers from Egypt, and have permitted us to live in this night, to partake in this Seder. May Your will be done, so that Your name be sanctified in the midst of all the earth, and that all peoples be moved to worship You with one accord. And we shall sing new songs of praise to You, for our redemption. Blessed are You, O Lord, who redeem Your People!

All: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the wine!

(The second cup of wine is drunk)


(The Leader washes his hands again)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have sanctified us by your commandments and commanded us regarding the washing of hands!

(All wash their hands in bowls of water provided for the purpose and dry with tissues)


(Each participant takes a piece of matzah)

All: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who bring forth bread from the earth.

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us and commanded us concerning the eating of unleavened bread.

(All eat the matza)


(All take another small piece of matza, dip it in haroseth and sprinkle it with bitter herbs)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have sanctified us and commanded us concerning the eating of herbs.

(All eat the matzah, haroseth and bitter herbs)


(All take the parsley and dip it in salt-water)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have sanctified us and commanded us concerning the eating of greens dipped in salt- water.

(All eat the parsley dipped in salt-water)


(All take the egg and dip it in salt-water)

Leader: The egg represents the Temple. Even as a hen lays an egg once a day early in the morning, so sacrifice was offered early every morning.

Blessed are You, O Lord God of the universe, who have sanctified us and commanded us concerning the eating of the egg dipped in salt-water.

(All eat the egg)



l. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest (repeat)

Lord we lift up Your name with hearts full of praise;

Be exalted, oh Lord my God, Hosanna in the highest.

2. Glory, Glory, Glory to the King of Kings .(repeat)

Lord we lift up Your name with hearts full of praise;

Be exalted, oh Lord my God, Hosanna in the highest (repeat)


(spices should be placed on the table)

(During the meal: all converse on matters of piety and holiness)


Leader: Let us bless our God of whose bounty we have partaken:

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who feed the whole world with Your goodness, with grace and with loving kindness. You give bread to all flesh, for You loving-kindness endures for ever. Because of Your loving-kindness food has not been and shall not be lacking for us.

All: Blessed are You, O Lord, who feed all Your creatures.

(The third cup is poured)

Leader: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the wine.

(The third cup is drunk)

(The fourth cup is now filled, but not drunk)

Commentator: Now is the time that the children will look for the `afikoman', the piece of matzah which the leader has hidden. After the afikoman is found the service will continue.

The children will receive a reward. The recovered afikoman will be used in the Passover of the New Covenant - it represents the Messiah.

Leader: All works shall sing Hallel (Praise) to You! Those who are touched with Your grace and righteousness, all Your people give thanks, bless, revere and sanctify Your Name, O our King! It is good to give thanks to You; for You are God, from eternity to eternity!

THE GREAT HALLEL (Psalm 136 - abbreviated)

(prayed alternately)

Leader: O give thanks to the Lord for he is good;

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: O give thanks to the God of gods;

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: O give thanks to the Lord of Lords,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: To him who alone does great wonders,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: Who struck down Egypt and its first-born,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: Who brought out Israel from among them,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: With a strong hand and with outstretched arm,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: Who divided the Red Sea into two parts,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: And made Israel pass through the midst of it,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: Who cast off Pharaoh and his host into the Red Sea,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: Who led his people through the wilderness,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: Who struck down great kings,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: Who made over their land as a heritage,

for his mercy endures for ever.

All: As a heritage for Israel his servant,

for his mercy endures for ever.

Leader: O give thanks to the God of heaven,

for his mercy endures for ever!



l. Let us break bread together with the Lord! (repeat)

Refrain: As we travel through this land

all God's children hand in hand,

Lord, fill all our living with your life.

2. Let us drink wine together with the Lord...

3. Let us sing songs together with the Lord...

4. Let us all work together for the Lord...


(The head table is cleared of all but the recovered afikoman, wine and water)

Leader: The first reading is taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: "Is not the cup of thanksgiving from which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor 16-17). "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor 11,26-29).

This is the word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

The Celebrant: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew, chapter 26, beginning at verse 17

All: Glory to You, Lord Christ!

The Celebrant:

"On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciple came to Jesus and asked, `Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?' He replied, `Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.' So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve (and he said to them: `I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer', Lk 22,15)...while they were eating Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it and give it to His Apostles saying: TAKE, EAT; THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU; do this in remembrance of me.

Likewise He took the cup, gave thanks; He gave it to them, saying: Drink of it all of you; FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me!

All: Amen!


Send Your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and transform the bread into the Body of Christ and the wine into His precious Blood!

The Celebrant breaks the Matza and passes a piece to each table. As he does so, he says: "Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?" (1 Cor 10,26b)

Each person receives a small piece of the bread, eats it and passes the rest to the next person.

The "Fourth Cup" is then passed in the same way from person to person, the celebrant having first said: "Is not the cup of blessing for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?" (1 Cor 10,26a)

When the remaining bread and wine have been returned to the table, all join in saying the LORD'S PRAYER:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

SONG (music)

Havenu Shalom Alechem (3times)

Havenu Shalom, Shalom, Shalom Alechem

(We bring peace unto you)


Leader: O Lord our God, King of the universe,

we give You thanks for our deliverance from the slavery of sin.

We thank You for bringing us to the Promise Land of the Liberty of

the Children of God.

We praise You that in this sacrament

You have given us the memorial

of the passion of Your dear Son Jesus the Christ.

We give You thanks that in this sacrament

of His Body and Blood

we have been nourished with His life

and strengthened for His service.

Now send us out filled and renewed

with the power of Your Holy Spirit

to love and serve You and all people

as You have shown us Your love

in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord!

All: Amen!


Leader: Our Passover is ended. Remember always Christ our Passover Lamb, through whose death we have forgiveness and the remission of our sins...may they al be ONE.

All: Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.


Christ our Peace is with us. Alleluia!

9. Advent, Lent and Easter Sunday

The Church of Jesus the Christ prepares the Saints for the commemoration of great events of salvation, especially for Easter and Christmas. The preparation for Christmas is called Advent and that of Easter, Lent. The preparation lasts 40 days. During these days we prepare our self by prayer, fasting and alms-giving.

The Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday - a palm procession is recommended.

Ash Wednesday (see above).

On Maundy Thursday we celebrate the Last Supper (event within the Passover), concluding it with prayer vigil before the exposed Eucharist.

Good Friday we remember the Crucifixion of the Lord - The Lord's Passion will be read and a procession of the Stations of the Cross "celebrated".

The Easter Eucharist is in many ways a very special Supper of the Lord:- With great devotion, the Easter Candle will be lit* and carried in procession into the Church. This Candle is a symbol for the triumphant Lord.

- The congregation will renew its baptismal vows and the Catechumenen are baptized.

* THE SERVICE OF THE LIGHT: (This is a part of the Service of the Catechumen)

(The CELEBRANT and his helpers gather around the entrance of the building. The celebrant lights the New Fire, the symbol of New Life in Christ, and blesses it saying:)

Eternal God, who made this most holy season;

bless this fire; set us aflame with the fire of Your love and bring us to the radiance of Your heavenly glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The CELEBRANT lights the Easter Candle and says:

Christ yesterday and today,

the beginning and the end,

Alpha and Omega,

to Him be glory and power

through every age and forever!

All: Amen.

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

Now the CELEBRANT with his helpers processes the Candle into (through) the congregation, raises it and says:

The light of Christ!

All: Thanks to be God.

The procession moves to the front of the congregation and the Candle is placed on a stand or on the altar.


All: He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choir of angels!

Exult, all creation around God's throne!

Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!

Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King!

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!

Darkness vanishes forever!

Rejoice O Mother Church! Exult in Glory!

The risen Savior shines upon you!

Let this place resound with joy!

Echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

CELEBRANT: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you!

[Parts of the Liturgy of the Catechumen can be added here; see Liturgy]



Glory to God in the highest

and peace to God's people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise Your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world;

have mercy on us;

You are seated at the right hand of the Father:

Receive our prayer.

For You alone are the Holy One,

You alone are the Lord,

You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen!

[See again the Liturgy]



Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us:

So let us celebrate the feast.

Not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness,

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Christ once raised from the dead, dies no more.

Death has no more dominion over Him.

In dying He died to sin once for all

in living He lives for God.

See your selves therefore as dead to sin.

For as by one man came death;by another has come also resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die:

Even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Glory to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning, so now and forever. Amen!

[Readings can precede and/or follow this hymn]

At Easter Night the baptism of the Catechumen will take place. The Believers will renew their baptismal vows by answering for themselves the questions put to the Catechumenen. After the Service of the Catechumen the Liturgy of the Faithful will follow. (See Liturgy).

10. Prayer service

This service can be held at any time of day or night.


This prayer service is a simple style of song and/or prayer and/or meditation. In this way of praying, short scripture passages are recited or chanted until they move from head to the heart. We will become open to God, reconciled to our neighbor and united with those in need.


Chant (Choir): Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit)

Chant (All): Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit).

(After the cantor's and/or choir's "Veni Sancte Spiritus", vocal [solo] and/or instrumental verses [an example will follow] can be song or played as desired with some space left between. This arrangement can be repeated after every "chant".)

Choir: Come Holy Spirit, from heaven shine forth with Your glorious light.

All: "Come Holy Spirit, from heaven shine forth with Your glorious light" -

Choir: "Veni Sancte Spiritus".

ALL: "Come, Father of the poor, come, generous Spirit, come , light of our hearts" -

Choir: "Veni Sancte Spiritus."

Leader: The Lord be with you.

All: And also with you.

Lector I:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in Him was life and the life was the light of the people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it (Jn 1,1-5).

Leader: Jesus Christ is the Light of the world!

All: A Light no darkness can quench.

(Whilst the candles* are lit and the light is shared, the following chant is sung.

* At night, the entire service can be held just in candle-light)

Choir: The Lord is my light, my light and salvation: In Him I trust, in Him I trust.

Chant (All): The Lord is my light, my light and salvation: In Him I trust, in Him I trust.

Leader: All praise and thanks to You eternal God

for the gift of Your Crucified One;

who has released the just from the chains of hell.

We rejoice in the sacrifice of Your

obedient and suffering Servant.

By the Cross of Christ

You have destroyed death

and the power of the evil one.

Today we are eager for the Resurrection

to set fire to our minds and hearts.

Your voice comes to rend our night

and to open the gateway of praise within us.

Longing for the flame of justice,

we give You thanks and praise.

All: Amen.

Lector II: (Readings and Psalms can be adjusted to the Church Calendar and their number can be

increased or reduced.)

Psalm 116:

I love You God, because You have heard my voice and my

supplication; because You have inclined Your ear to me.

All: I love You God, because You have heard my voice and my supplications;

because You have inclined Your ear to me.

Lector: Therefore, I will call on You as long as I live. The cords of death encompasses me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me. I suffered sorrow and anguish. Then I called on You, O God: `Lord, I beseech You, save my life!'

All: I Love You God, because You have heard my voice and my supplications; because You have inclined Your ear to me.

Lector: Glorious are You, God, and righteous; You protect the simple hearted. When I was brought low, You saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for God has been good to you!

All: I love You God, because You have heard my voice and my supplications; because You have inclined Your ear to me.

Lector: For You, God have delivered my soul from death; my eyes from tears; my feet from stumbling. I walk before You, God, in the land of the living.

All: I love You God, because You have heard my voice and my supplications; because You have inclined Your ear to me.

Choir: Surrexit Christus, alleluia!

Cantate Domino, alleluia!

(Christus is risen; sing to the Lord)

All: Surrexit Christus, alleluia!

Cantate Domino, alleluia!

All: "All you heavens, bless the Lord - (choir) Surrexit Christus, alleluia!

Stars of the heavens, bless the Lord - (choir) Cantate Domino, alleluia!

Sun and moon, bless the Lord - (choir) Surrexit...

And you, night and day, bless the Lord - (choir) Cantate...

Frost and cold, bless the Lord - (choir) Surrexit...

Ice and snow, bless the Lord - (choir) Cantate...

Fire and heat, bless the Lord - (choir) Surrexit...

And you light and darkness, bless the Lord - (choir) Cantate...

Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord - (choir) Surrexit...

Saints and the humble hearted, bless the Lord - (choir) Cantate..."

Lector III: An appropriate reading will follow.

Chant Choir: There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; There is one God, who is Father of all.

All; "Bear with one another in love and charity; be humble, be patient, be selfless, be as one."

Choir: "There is one Lord..."

All: There is one Body; there is one Spirit; there is one hope to which we are called."

Choir: "There is one Lord..."

All: "We are all to come to unity, in our faith and knowledge of the Son of god, until we become perfected in the fullness of Christ."

Choir: "There is one Lord..."

Leader: God of creation, come to us.

Let justice flow like water

and integrity like an unfailing stream.

Rise, gentle God, raise Your hand.

Do not forget the poor, the broken, the hurt.

You Yourself have seen the distress and grief of the world,

You watch and take them into Your hands.

Gentle God, You listen to the want of the humble,

You bring strength to their hearts.

Bless us as we praise and rely on You.


(This section is optional and can be used meaningfully at the Easter-season)

Leader: As we remember the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the

dead, we remember that through the paschal mystery we have died and

been buried with Him in baptism, so that we may rise with Him to the

new life within the family of the Church.

Let us now renew the promises made at our baptism, affirming our

allegiance to Christ and our rejection of all that is evil.

Therefore I ask you:

Do you turn to Christ?

All: I turn to Christ!

Leader: Do you repent of your sins?

All: I repent of my sins!

Leader: Do you renounce evil?

All: I renounce evil!

Leader: Now I ask you to make the profession of Christian faith in which you

were baptized and which you will continue to live and journey through.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world?

All: I believe and trust in God!

Leader: Do you believe and trust in His Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed mankind?

All: I believe and trust in Christ!

Leader: Do you believe and trust in His Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God?

All: I believe and trust in the Holy Spirit!

Leader: This is the faith of the Church.

All: This is our faith.

We believe and trust in ONE God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Leader: Almighty God, we thank You for our fellowship in the community of faith - with all who have been baptized in Your name.

Keep us faithful to our baptism and so make us ready for that day when the whole creation shall be reconciled through Your Son, our Lord

Jesus Christ. Amen.


Chant Choir and All: Laudate Dominum, Laudate Dominum,

omnes gentes; Alleluia, Alleluia!

(Praise the Lord, all you people)

Leader: Let us pray:

All: Ever-present God, to whom all hearts are open and all desires known,

inspire us by Your Spirit to love You and your creation. As we rightly

should as Your sons and daughters. Amen

Chant Choir and All: Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison!

(Lord, have mercy on us)

Leader: With regret and with trust, we confess our sins to God.

All: Loving God; merciful and just. We have sinned against You and against

other people and creatures whom You love. We are sorry for our sins!

Please, forgive us and give us the courage to repair what we can and let

go of what we cannot repair through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leader: Almighty God! Who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to Him in

faith; pardon you and set you free from all your sins. Strengthen you

to do His will and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ

our Lord.

All: Amen.

Chant Choir and All: Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

(Gloria to God in the highest)

Leader: Christ Jesus, by Your Spirit, You come and kindle a burning light

within us. We know well that it is not us who create the source of

light, but You, the Risen Lord. To all of us, You give the one thing

that matters and which is hidden from our eyes: A peaceful trust in

God and poverty in spirit, so that with a great thirst for the

realities of God, we may take the risk of letting You accompany us, O

Christ and of accompanying those whom You entrusted to us. We ask this

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Lector IV: An appropriate reading will follow.

Chant (All): Jesus, remember me when You come into your Kingdom!

Lectur V.: An appropriate reading will follow.

(Sermon may follow)


Leader: Father, may our lives be filled with Your compassion. Give us a spirit

of forgiveness and generosity of heart: Lord we pray!

Chant Choir and All: O Lord hear our prayer; O Lord hear our prayer:

When we call answer us.

O Lord hear my prayer; O Lord hear my prayer"

Come and listen to me.

(This chant will be repeated)

Leader: Lord Jesus, give us a longing for the unity of the Church. May we

we rejoice in the gifts of others. We pray for all who are beginning

to know Christ and who long to center their lives on His will. Lord we

pray! (Repeat chant above)

Leader: Give to married people the strength of Your peace and the grace to

live together in love constantly renewed.

Support those who meet with difficulty and disappointment and renew

their confidence and sense of purpose. Lord we pray! (Repeat chant)

Leader: Bring healing and comfort to those who are sick and those who live in

constant pain. May those who have known the ravages of war and hatred

also know the peace You give. Lord we pray! (Repeat chant)

Leader: For the works of Your Apostles and their representatives and for the

ministry of each and every Christian. Lord we pray! (Repeat chant)

Leader: Lead us by Your Spirit to do Your will. Transform our hearts in

accordance with Your will. Lord we pray! (Repeat chant)

(Any other prayers of intercession may be offered, ending with Lord we

pray! and repeat chant)

Leader: God of mercy, we stand in the mystery of the cross and resurrection

and we contemplate the price of our salvation. Keep us faithful to the

Crucified and Risen Lord, that we may proclaim Your justice to all the

nations. We ask this through Christ our Redeemer. Amen.


Leader: We are the Body of Christ!

All: God's Spirit is with us.

Leader: The peace of God is with us always.

All: And all that is made.

(The members of the congregation are greeting each other)

Chant Choir and All: Adoramus te Domine. (Hum)

(We adore You, O Lord)

Chant All: "With the angels and archangels;"

Choir: Adoramus te.....

All: "With the patriarchs and prophets;"

Choir: Adoramus te...

All: "With the Virgin Mary, mother of God;"

Choir: Adoramus te....

All: "With the Apostles and evangelists;"

Choir Adoramus te...

All: "With all the martyrs of Christ;"

Choir: Adoramus te....

All: "With all who witness to the Gospel of the Lord;"

Choir: Adoramus te.....

All: "With all your people of the Church throughout the world."

Choir: Adoramus te....

Free intercession can be added. Followed by Choir and All: Adoramus te... and or Lord hear our (my) prayer... (see above).

In case that a Eucharistic Meal is added, The Eucharist of the Faithful will follow. Observe the restrictions for this celebration.

Remarks: Chants can be added:

The Eucharistic Meal is solemnized by a Celebrant.


Eat this Bread, drink this Cup; come to Me and never

be hungry. Eat My Flesh and drink My Blood; trust in Me

and you will never thirst!

(Followed by silence)

After consecration:

All: "I am the bread of life, the true bread sent from the Father.

Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but this is the bread come down from heaven.

Eat My Flesh and drink My Blood and I will raise you up on the last day.

Anyone who eats this Bread, will live for ever.

If you believe and eat this Bread, you will have eternal life."

Choir: "Eat this Bread..."

(Holy Communion in silence - an appropriate quiet background-music can be played)

- After communion: Dona nobis pacem, Domine.

(Grant us peace, Lord)

(Followed by silence)

Choir: "Dona nobis..."

All: "Blest are they who bring peace, for they shall be called the children of God."

Choir: "Dona nobis..."

All: "Peace I leave with you, says the Lord, My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. I will be with you always."

Choir: "Dona nobis..."

All: "Lord Jesus Christ, You said to Your Apostles: `I leave you peace, My peace I give to you.' Look not on our sins, but on the faith of Your Church and grant us the peace and unity of Your Kingdom. Amen!"

Choir: "Dona nobis..."

Leader: As our Savior Christ has taught us, we are confident to say:

All: Our Father in heaven,

honored be Your name.

Your Kingdom come.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

Leader: Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;

Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;

Eternal Power, be our support;

Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;

Eternal Piety, have mercy upon us;

that with all our heart and mind and strength we may seek your

face and be brought by Your infinite love to your holy presence;

through Your Son Jesus Christ.

And may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with us all, now and forever more.

All: Amen.

Leader: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All: In the name of Christ. Amen.

11. The Passion of our Lord Jesus the Christ

Jesus' arrest (Jn 18,1-13)

Narrator: Jesus left with His disciples and went across the brook called

Kidron. There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and His discip-

les went in. Judas, the traitor, knew where it was, because many

times Jesus had met there with His disciples. So Judas went to the

garden, taking with him some temple guards sent by the

chief priests and the Pharisees; they were armed and

carried lanterns and torches. Jesus knew everything that was

going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward (and asked them):

Jesus: What is it you are looking for?

Soldier 1: Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus: I am He.

Narrator: Judas, the traitor, was standing there with them. When Jesus said to

them, "I am," they moved back and fell to the ground. Again Jesus

asked them:

Jesus: Who is it you are looking for?

Soldier 2:Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus: I have already told you that I am He. If, then, you are looking for

me, let these others go.

Narrator: He said this so that what He had said might come true: "Father, I

have not lost even one of those You gave Me."

Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest's

servant, cutting off his ear. The name of the slave was Malchus.

Jesus: Put your sword back in its place! Do you think that I will not drink

the cup of suffering which My Father has given Me?

Narrator: Then the Jewish guards arrested

Jesus, bound Him, and took Him away.

Peter denies Jesus (John 18,12-27)

Narrator: They took Him first to Annas.

He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year.

It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jewish authorities that is was

better that one man should die for all the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple

was well known to the High Priest, so he went with Jesus into the

courtyard of the High Priest's house, while Peter stayed outside by

the gate. Then the other disciple went back out, spoke to the girl

at the gate, and brought Peter inside. The girl at the gate said to


Girl: Aren't you also one of the disciples of that man?

Peter: No, I am not.

Narrator: It was cold, so the servants and guards had built a charcoal fire

and were standing round it, warming themselves. So Peter went over

and stood with them, warming himself.

(PAUSE – meditation)

The High Priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His


Jesus: I have always spoken publicly to everyone; all My teaching was done

in the synagogues and in the Temple, where all the people come

together. I thought openly. Why, then, do you question Me? Question

the people who heard Me. Ask them what I told them - they knew

what I said.

Narrator: When Jesus said this, one of the guards there slapped Him:

Guard: How dare You talk like that to the High Priest!

Jesus: If I have said anything wrong, tell everyone here what it was. But if I am right in what I

have said, why do you hit Me?

Narrator: Then Annas sent Him, still bound, to Caiaphas the High Priest.

(PAUSE ...)

Peter was still standing there keeping himself warm. (So an other

said to him:)

Person 1: Aren't you also one of the disciples of that man?

Peter: No. I am not.

Narrator: One of the High Priest's servant, a relative of the man whose ear

Peter had cut off, spoke up:

Person 2: Didn't I see you with Him in the garden?

Peter: No!


(slowly):And at once a cock crowed.

Jesus brought before the Council

(Lk 22,63-71)


Narrator: The men who were guarding Jesus mocked Him and beat Him .

They blindfolded Him and asked Him:

Guard: Who hit you? Guess!

Narrator: And they said many other insulting things to Him.

(PAUSE ....)

When they came, the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law met together

and Jesus was brought before the Council.

Lawyer: Tell us, are you the Messiah?

Jesus: If I tell you will not believe me; and if I ask you a question, you will not answer. But from

now on the Son of Man will be seated on the right hand of Almighty God.

Lawyer: Are you, then, the Son of God?

Jesus: You say that I am.

Lawyer: We don't need any witnesses! We ourselves have heard what He said!


Jesus is brought before Pilate (Jn 18,28--19,16)

Narrator: Early in the morning Jesus was taken to the

governor's palace. The Jewish authorities did not go inside the

palace, for they wanted to keep themselves ritually clean, in order

to be able to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went outside to them:

Pilate: What do you accuse this man of?

Priest: We would not have brought Him to you if He had not committed a


Pilate: Then you yourselves take Him and try Him according to your own law.

Priest: We are not allowed to put anyone to death.

(PAUSE ...)

Narrator: Pilate went back into the palace and called Jesus.

Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?

Jesus: Does this question come from you or have others told you about Me?

Pilate: Do You think I am a Jew? It was Your own people and the chief

priests who handed You over to me. What have You done?

Jesus: My Kingdom does not belong to this world; if My Kingdom belonged to

this world, My followers would fight to keep Me from being handed

over to the Jewish authorities. No, My Kingdom does not belong here!

Pilate: Are You a King, then?

(PAUSE ...)

Jesus: You say that I am a King. I was born and came into the world for this

one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth

listen to Me.

Pilate (slowly):And what is truth?

(PAUSE ...)

Narrator: Then Pilate went back outside to the people.

Pilate: I cannot find any reason to condemn Him. But according to the custom

you have, I always set free a prisoner for you during the Passover.

Do you want me to set free the King of the Jews?

Priest: No, not Him!

Crowd: We want Barrabas!


(slowly) Barrabas was a bandit.

(PAUSE ...)

Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him whipped. The soldier made a crown

out of thorny branches and put it on His head; then they put a

purple robe on Him and came to Him.

Soldiers: Long live the King of the Jews!

Narrator: And they went up and slapped Him.

Pilate went out once more and said to the crowd:

Pilate: Look, I will bring Him out here to you to see that I cannot find any

reason to condemn Him.

Narrator: So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.

Pilate: Look! Here is the man!

Narrator: When the chief priests and the temple guards saw Him, they shouted:

Priest: Crucify Him!

Crowd: Crucify Him!

Pilate: You take Him, then, and crucify Him. I find no reason to condemn


Priest: We have a law that says He ought to die, because He claimed to be

the Son of God.

Narrator: When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid. He went back into

the palace (and asked Jesus:)

Pilate: Where do You come from?

Narrator: But Jesus did not answer.

(PAUSE ...)

Pilate: You will not speak to me? Remember, I have the authority to set You

free and also to have You crucified.

Jesus: You have authority over Me only because it was given to you by God.

So the man who handed Me over to you is guilty of a worse sin.

Narrator: When Pilate heard this, he tried to find a way to set Jesus free.

But the crowd shouted back:

Priest: If you set Him free, that means that you are not the Emperor's


Crowd: Anyone who claims to be a king is a rebel against the Emperor!

Narrator: When Pilate heard these words, he took Jesus outside and sat down on

the judge's seat in the palace called `The Stone Pavement.' In

Hebrew the name is Gabbatha. It was then almost noon of the day

before the Passover.

Pilate: (to all) Here is your king!

Priest: Kill Him!

Crowd: Kill Him!

Priest: Crucify Him!

Pilate: Do you want me to crucify your king?

Priest: The only king we have is the Emperor!

Narrator: Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.

Jesus is crucified (Jn 19,17-30)

Narrator: Jesus went out, carrying His cross, and came to `The Place of the

Skull', as it is called. In Hebrew it is called Golgotha.' There

they crucified Him; and they also crucified two other men, one on

each side, with Jesus between them. Pilate wrote a notice and had it

put on the cross.

Pilate: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

Narrator: Many people read it, because the place where Jesus was crucified was

not far from the city. The notice was written in Hebrew, Latin and

Greek. The chief priests said to Pilate:


Priest: Do not write `The King of the Jews,' but rather, `This man said, I

am the King of the Jews.'

Pilate: What I have written stays written.

Narrator: After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His clothes and

divided them among themselves, one part for each soldier. They also

took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without

any seams in it.

Soldiers: (to one another) Let's not tear it.

Let's throw dice to see who will get it.

Narrator: This happened in order to make the scripture come true: "They

divided My clothes among themselves and gambled for My robe."

And this what the soldiers did.

(PAUSE ...)

Standing close to Jesus' cross were His mother, His mother's sister,

Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw His mother and

the disciple He loved standing there; so He said to His mother:

Jesus: He is your son!

Narrator: Then He said to the disciple:

Jesus: She is your mother!

Narrator: From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.

(PAUSE ...)

Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order

to make the scripture come true, He said:

Jesus: I am thirsty.

Narrator: A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the

wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to His lips. Jesus


Jesus: It is finished!

Narrator: Then He bowed His head and died.


Narrator: The Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs

of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from

the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did

not wanted the bodies to stay on the cross on the Sabbath, since the

Sabbath was especially holy. So the soldiers went and broke the legs

of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified

with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did

not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, plunged His spear into Jesus' side, and at

once blood and water poured out.

Apostle: The one who saw this happen has spoken of it, so that you also may

believe. What he said is true, and he knows that he speaks the


Narrator: This was done to make the scripture come true: "Not one of His bones

will be broken."

And there is another scripture: "People will look at Him whom they


After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate

if he could take Jesus' body.

Apostle: Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid

of the Jewish authorities.

Narrator: Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it

away. Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went

with Joseph, taking with him about thirty kilograms of spices, a

mixture of myrrh and aloes. The two men took Jesus' body and wrapped

it in linen with the spices according to the Jewish custom of pre-

paring a body for burial. There was a garden in the place where

Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where

no one had ever been buried. Since it was the day before the Sabbath

and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus' body there.

Narrator: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Congregation: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

  1. Occult practices (cont. `Church 1')

a. Iridology

Iridology, or iris diagnosis, is a method of diagnosing disease or ill-health by inspection of iris topography.

The mystique of alternative medicine draws more and more people in the realm of the occult.

Iridology is an alternative medicine.


Iris diagnosis was the brain-child of Ignatz von Peczely of Hungary (19th cent.). According to his `observation' each of the fibre of the iris acts its part by registering a sign or coloration through the prompting of some body organ.

In the 19th century, Iridology spread quickly to Germany and in the 20th century to the New World.

The 19th century proved to be the age of great occult discoveries: Homeopathy, phrenology (bumps and shapes of the head used in diagnosis), Iridology, etc.

Theory of Iridology:

According to this `science' all parts of the body has a representation within the retina.

a. A so called `Iridology chart' has been developed, according to which the left side of the body is reflected in the left eye and the right side of the body in the right eye.

This alone contradicts virtually all other neuro-anatomical arrangements according to which the control of the right side is done by the left side of the brain and so on.

There are no less than 19 charts developed by different iridologists - these charts have major deviations and admittedly even iridologist can not agree on these differences.

b. A pseudo-anatomy has been developed according to which the iris has a direct relationship to every part of the body.

This distorted use of anatomy can appear quite logical to any patient who has not studied anatomy. [That the `minute parasympathetic portion of the third cranial nerve' can carry adequate fibers to represent all portions of the body does not appear to be a problem!]

c. Etc., etc., etc.

Some of the well known iridologist of our century: Jensen; Hall; Piesse*, etc.

* He admits that "after 100 years of iris diagnosis there is no scientific basis for the CULT*" and yet he believes in it.

There has been no controlled clinical trials of its efficacy. No attempt has been made to prove the efficacy of the technique in an acceptable scientific manner.

* Cult is a particular form of a system (religious or others) cultivated `religiously' by devoted adherents. It promises to deliver `things' which according to science it cannot. That is, what it delivers is spiritual, rather than scientific - in our case, medically-scientific.

There is only two spiritual sources where man can receive information - Iridology is not used by the Holy Spirit to reveal any so called illnesses.

The technique of iris diagnosis (brief summary):

1. Concentric divisions of the iris (see figure 1);

2. Radial fiber structure (see figure 2) - basically, the finer the fiber the better the state of health;

3. Iris lesions and weakness-signs are, for example, signs of inflammation;

4. Representation of the body-parts in the iris - this chart diagrammically places all organs within the iris;

5. The automatic nerve wreath - its eccentric contractions or expansions act as an indicator for the site of a diseased organ.

Above all this, the iris is said to show signs of past, present and FUTURE disturbances of the state of health.

One of the latest scientific study* into Iridology (see Simon A. `An evaluation of Iridology'; JAMA**, 1989, 242) arrives at the following conclusion:

"Iridology had no clinical or statistically significant ability to detect the presence of kidney (or other) disease. Iridology was neither selective nor specific and the likelihood of correct detection was statistically no better than chance."

* This study included a testing of three prominent iridologists to detect mild or moderate renal disorders. It is of interest, that one of these iridologists diagnosed over 80% of the healthy test-patients as having renal disease!

** Medical Journal.

`Iridology consists of numerous claims unsupported, unscientific, without pathological or anatomical correlation.'

It is important that we do not dismiss Iridology as `utter nonsense,' without first explaining and denigrating it. The people who promoting it are super-salesmen!

A further study...

Definition and characteristics of sects/ cults

For the Christian the most significant component of a cult/sect is theological in nature. This is so because the basic issue of truth and error are involved. The Christian must be able to discern truth from error - discerning of spirits (see 1 Cor 12,10c).

Cultic groups and sects are very diverse. To deal with this diversity we have to use broad categories or divisions. There will be some overlap in some cases between categories and there will always be some groups that are exceptions to the generalized category.

The categories:

1. Western Pseudo-Christian Exclusivist groups;

2. Extreme Christian (Extreme Religious) Fringe Groups;

3. Human Potential Groups;

4. New Age Groups;

5. Eastern Mystical Groups;

6. Occults Groups;

7. A combination of the above mentioned.

A few general statements:

1. A sect comes out of an established group and carries with it many of the major teachings and/or practices of the original group.

2. Cults commence independently of another group - there is generally no clear distinguishable continuity or link between a cult and major established church or denomination.

The following characteristics, techniques or practices are generally found in most cults and sects.

Not all cults/sects will be equally characterized by all of the following, but most will reveal many of them with varying intensity:

1. They are leader, or leadership centered and dominated, usually by persons claiming some divine appointment or authority. While members are accountable to the leadership, the leadership is not accountable to anyone else. Leaders often make significant decisions for members.

2. The leadership generally claims supernatural insights, divine revelations - often superseding sacred scripture (scriptures are often replaced, misused, reinterpreted). The leaders claim superior knowledge to that available to ordinary members. Leaders may be believed to be omniscient and have supernatural powers (among other things, healing powers).

3. The groups are often aggressive in recruiting new members and in increasing finances. They even use various forms of deceptions, including infiltrating established churches or religious groups, in order to increase both. This also adds to the power of the leadership. Members are often also asked to contribute all possessions or large sums of money.

4. The groups are often characterized by some form of secrecy - hidden agendas, teachings and practices for the member which are not available for the general public. Esoteric aspects kept from outsiders and newcomers until they become entrenched members.

5. Double standards are often an integral part of such groups - one standard, privileges, luxuries and the like for the leadership and a (often very) different standard for members. Often one standard for the public and another for group members (even justification for deceiving non-members). All too often double standards involve moral values at one extreme or another.

6. Most such groups have a persecution complex in which all questioning or criticism, disagreement or non-conformity is regarded as a threat and generally results in claiming of persecution, discrimination or vilification. Sometimes extreme measures are taken to silence all critics and opponents.

7. These groups generally present themselves as having the answers to all of life's complex issues. They promise "the world" and can be very persuasive, though their claim cannot stand close scrutiny, questioning or deep thought.

8. Most such groups present either an unrealistic hope with utopian claims and promises, or they use fear and uncertainty, possibly claims of the imminent end of the world and the promise that they alone have the truth that leads to salvation in order to attract and keep members. Many, if not most, are characterized by extreme religious exclusivity.

9. Many such groups use impressive public promotion and propaganda to present a positive image to the public. They often seek official endorsement by academics, politicians and community leaders who are shown just what the group wants them to see and kept from discovering negative elements.

10. These groups often use intensive emotional techniques to entice newcomers and endeavor to maintain emotional intensity to lessen any critical thought, analysis or questioning.

11. Such groups build a suspicion of all outsiders, including natural family, in the minds of new members and use a variety of methods to separate members from their normal support systems - family, friends, social and educational contacts and environment - to increase the member's dependency on the group and its leadership.

12. In many of these groups, natural parents and family members are criticized, condemned, or rejected and replaced by the group as the better or true family. Sometimes a complete new name and change of identity is provided for members so that there is a complete separation from the past and dependency on the group and its leadership is reinforced.

13. Behavior modification techniques and high powered salesmanship are often used to gain and control new members.

14. Long hours are often given to extensive studies promoting a sense of deeper knowledge and elitism and further separation from others and the past.

15. Repetitive techniques of chanting or singing and the effective use of music are often used to induce an altered state of consciousness, mood and emotional control and the elimination of active thought processes.

16. Exhaustion and fatigue are often induced through prolonged mental, emotional and physical activities, limited or interrupted sleep (late to bed and up in the early hours of the morning), long working hours followed by long reading/study sessions or meditating/chanting sessions and the like.

17. Fear and intimidation is a major control technique used by such groups. Negativity, non-conformity, non-compliance may result in humiliation and ridicule by the leadership in front of other members. Physical punishment - of adults and especially of children - again, often before others, may also occur. Psychological and spiritual threats of God's punishments or satan's seduction are often invoked on those who question too much or who leave. Those who leave are treated as apostates and often completely shunned (even by family members in the group).

18. Group pressure and dynamics are often used to ensure conformity - the individual must deny him/herself for the greater good of the group. Conformity in behavior, values, beliefs, dress, social activities and standards are all reinforced through group dynamics, group confession and other techniques to destroy individuality are common.

19. Communal living provides a greater controlled environment, ensures greater separation of the members from their socio-cultural and spiritual support system that present an alternative to the group and deepens the power and control of the leadership.

To acknowledge:

Each religious group has elements of its own uniqueness which make some of its characteristics exceptional and in contrast to those stated, or where characteristics may validly apply but with some modification or further explanation.

God holds the key to all unknown... those who are Christians turn in trust to God!

b. Other means to find out about the future:

a. Astrology: Ancient astrology, practiced by the Babylonians, Egyptians and several South American Indian groups, involved worship of heavenly bodies as deities. Today astrologers have modified this to a belief in cosmic/electromagnetic forces which guide the destinies of the universe and all that is in it – including man. Therefore, according to astrology, the position of the stars (etc) when a person is born is of great importance and a person is always tied up with the alignment of the stars and planets. Living in harmony with the universe becomes the all-important thing..!

There are many good aims and desires involved with those who take astrology seriously. That is part of the subtlety..! Satan very seldom comes out into the open – half truth is the secret of his success.

b. Numerology: Modern numerology involves finding your "vibratory number" – the vibrations have to be right before you do anything. Some numerology "helps" you to self-understanding, some to find guidance for the future..!

c. Palmistry is another well-known way of foretelling the future. Four main line on the hand are each given a special significance and meaning. Palm readers also see seven sections on the hand which are divided astrologically by the planets. According to palmistry, the way a man opens his fist and extends his hand is an indication of his character and a sign of his future..!

d. Card reading: The cards are related to astrology. The 78 illustrated Tarot cards are divided into Major (22 cards) and the Minor (56 cards) Arcana. We will omit the process. During this process, the participant(s) are feeling hot, cool, prickly, etc. These feelings are attributed to the reader's and the cards' vibration. Interpreting the vibrations, the positions of the cards, etc. will give the answer of the seeker.

e. Crystal ball, tea-leaves, etc.: In the Old Testament there are other forms of future telling mentioned, see Ez 21,21. We have a clear reference of three particular forms of divination: Rhabdomancy, using sticks or the diving rod; consulting images and hepatoscopy, using the liver of a sacrificial animal.

Today, with the popularity of Eastern religions, many people have their household gods – statues of the Buddha, bizarre paintings, etc. (see Ez 21,21).

f. Other forms of divination: pendulums, divining rods, throwing sticks, throwing coins, etc. Many of these occult practices are connected to I CHING, or the Book of Changes. While doing the above mentioned practices (for instance, shaking sticks) the practitioner consults various sections the above mentioned book. It helps to find the answer to the question of the seeker.

g. Telephaty and other methods of seeing the future and connect with the dead are also common occult practices.

h. Spiritism:

Definition: Is communication with the dead.

The Bible reveals that the Ancient Egyptians, were practitioners of magic, sorcery and necromancy (predicting the future by means of communicating with the dead). The people of God are warned against consulting mediums or wizards.

There are two opposite errors into which people can fall about the devil. One is to disbelieve in his existence. The other is to believe and to develop and unhealthy interest in him.

Terms frequently used:

Trance: A condition in which a spiritist medium (allegedly) loses consciousness and passes under control of some external forces (called a control spirit), for the (supposed) transmission of communications from the dead, or messages for an individual or a group.

Medium: A person possessing an unusual amount of psychic ability, (supposedly) enabling him/her /them to make contact with the spirit world.

Sιance: A meeting at which a group of spiritists attempt to make communication with the spirit of the dead. The messages can come as: Planchette (a small board on wheels) writing; automatic writing – the medium's hand is guided in composing the message; table rapping – during the sence a rapping noise occur which is interpreted as spirit-message; etc.

Beliefs of spiritists:

  1. Spiritualism: Both, spiritism and spiritualism attempt to communicate with the dead but spiritualist are people who profess to believe in the Bible and open their meetings with prayer, sing hymns, etc.

The emphasis on self-dependence denies the need for a Saviour and negates the meaning of Jesus' death and resurrection.

Denies the Bible as the unique written Word of God – they choose to go to a spirit for instruction.

In order to embrace the teaching of Spiritualism, one would need to reject major doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the Atonement and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus.

As a conclusion read: Jn 8,44; Lev 20,6; Deut 18,10-12; 1 Thess 4,14-17; 2 Cor 4,4.

What does God have to say about these future-seekers? See Ps 19 – what do the heavens tell us?

Hebrews 1,2-3; Colossians 1,15-17 - who sustains the universe? 2 Kings 23,5; Isaiah 47,10-15: Jeremiah 27,9-10 – what is God's attitude towards false prophets, dreamers, etc.? See also Matthew 6,24-34; Jn 16,13-15.33b; Philippians 4,6-7.11-13; 1 John 5,4-5.10-12. Christians turn everything over to God in prayer. Jesus gives us guidance and direction for living. In Jesus, we have assurance and victory. Joshua 24,15: "...choose this day whom you will serve,...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"

j. Clairvoyance: Alleged ability to perceive objects or events that are beyond the recognized range of the sense organs. This is also a fairly common occult practice.

c. The Uranite Book

The Urantia Book, published in Chicago (USA). It is divided into four parts:

  1. The Central and Super universe;
  2. The Local Universe;
  3. The History of Urantia;
  4. The Life and Teaching of Jesus.

The Urantia Book was supposedly brought to the earth by superhuman, divine beings in 1934. The purpose of the book is claimed to be a clarification of man's "divine and eternal destiny" (Basic Concepts, p.1).

The book `tells' of the origin and evolution of the central and super-universes, our local universe and Urantia, as well as the teaching of Jesus Himself. The Foundation (behind this book) claims this account of Chrtist's life is "much more complete than that of the New Testament, but not contradictory" (Basic Concepts, p.30). This information is said to be supplied by "a sort of guardian angel of the Apostle Andrew" (ibid).

The evolution of the world taking place in the many universes of the Urantia Book involves both matter and personalities. These personalities exist on millions of planets and spheres. The Urantia Book Teaches that these beings were created by a god who wishes to share the joy and adventure of beings to the furthest extent possible. This god dwells in the Isle of Paradise located in the center of the universe of universes.

The Urantia Book teaches also that this creator-god created the son and the spirit and yet they existed eternally (contradiction in re). Proceeding from this creation, he "down stepped himself further in the creation of many additional divine personalities, less than absolute, more and more nearly approaching the finite (Basic Concepts, p.2). This resembles to the theology of the Gnostic cult, who plagued Christianity in the first few centuries A.D. They believed that the infinite god was manifested in finite personal emenitions which became less perfect as they got further away from god, until at a very low level they took the form of the material world and its creatures.

Man's destiny is said to be from animal to angel, from angel to to spirit, from spirit to god. This resembles the Hindu system of transmigration where a soul is seen to pass from the lowest stages to humanity and from humanity to godhood and from godhood to Brahman (the impersonal god).

After this life we pass through millions of other spheres of training. The next one is the mansion-world of satania.

The mortal ascension plan is a two way proposition (Basic Concepts, p.3): It includes the up-reach or striving of man and the down-reach of god, which comes in the form of perfect beings who add to their natures by ministering to ascenders on the path of paradise. This help is basically consists in pointing us to the way by which we ourselves can attain perfection. Even the ministry and mission of Jesus Himself is seen in this light.

This brings us to one of the most central points of difference between the Urantia Book and Biblical Christianity: In the Bible, Christ is not a "way shower," but "the way" (Jn 14,6.7).

In the Urantia Book Christ is one of the divine sons of this god who incarnated himself to Urantia in order to help us mortals. This incarnation was the seventh. Through these seven incarnations Jesus enriched His divine and perfect personality.

Among other thing, the atoning death of Jesus on the cross, is missing. This is because Urantia teaches salvation by self effort: "We must earn every inch of progress, by study and training under the guidance of angels and other competent teachers (gurus?)..." (Basic Concepts, p.2).

As do all non-Christian cult systems, Urantia denies the essential Gospel message, that Christ died for our sins, 1 Cor 15,1-3. "Jesus did not come to Urantia to placate a god of wrath, nor to offer himself as a ransom by dying on the cross. The cross was wholly man's doing, not god's requirement" (Basic Concepts, p. 3).

While the Bible teaches that the Blood of Christ, shed on the cross, is the only means to justification, redemption and forgiveness before God (Rom 5,9; Eph 1,17: Hebr 9,22).

The Urantia Book states: "he barbarous idea of appeasing an angry God, of propitiating an offended Lord, of winning the favor of Deity through sacrifices and penance and even by the sahedding of blood, represents a religion wholly pueril and primitive, a philosophy unworthy of an enlightened abe of science and truth. Such beliefs are utter repulsive to the celestial beings and the divine rules who serve and reign in the universes. T is an affront to God to believe, hold, or teach that innocent blood must be shed in order to win His favor or to divert the fictious divine wrath" (Urantia Book, p.60).

In the course of this book, almost every distinctive doctrine of the historic Christian faith is repudiated. Here some example:

All the challenging and disconcerting implications that the Christian Gospel holds for man in active rebellion against a holy and just God are neatly swept away as primitive "ghost fears." The space age Gnosticism of fallen man – assuring him that in the twentieth century we have long since evolved beyond the notion that man must answer for actions to a personal and moral God. The author and follower of Urantia Book "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom 1,22)..."the world through its wisdom did not come to know God" (1 Cor 1,21).

"But even though we, or an angel from heaven, would preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Gal 1,8).

d. Shamanism

The term derives from `sramana' (a Sanskrit word meaning ascetic).

The Shaman is a "medicine man" with satanic powers of healing, for-teling the future – paranormal phenomena. These gift are often hereditary.

Shamanism is world-wide spread. Performances include dancing, mediumistic trance, spirit possession and the power of astral travel.

The role of the shaman (and shamaness) became the subject of a new movement in the West that began in the 1980s primarily through the work of Michael Harder who developed (with the help of others) a neo-Shamanism that draws many in the New Age movement. Many of these neo-ideas are coming from the North American Indian culture, esoteric tradition.

Variation of this occult practice was recently introduced to Australia by a Queensland family who studied the ancient techniques with the Sioux Indians.

This new Australian endeavor is presently trying to connect this Indian-spirituality with that of the Aboriginal pagan traditions, spirituality – for example, the involvement of animal symbols like spider, snake, the journey to the centre...etc.

What is the `sweat-lodge'?

The sweat-lodge is a ritual associated with the North American Indians. Hot stones are carried into an igloo-shaped lodge and water poured over them to radiate heat. Singing and drumming are integral part of the ceremony. It also include smoking a traditional pipe filled with willow bark... this has some dragging effect. This whole ceremony induces (prepares for ) visionary experiences and help to seek and find spiritual help.

What is the so called Vision Quest?

It is a meditation, starting with `sweat-lodge,' by which by emptying the mind one finds peace. Facing East one sings and keeps vigil – this helps to `map out' our future-life-path.

Connection to modern psychology especially the branche called "Me Psychology." It is suggested that a New Age psychology and psychiatry can (and will) incorporate (at least some of) the above mentioned Shaman practices.

This occult practice involves, among other things, spiritism, psychic powers, clairvoyance, out of body experiences, etc.

See other information about related occult practices and the Biblical position on such practices.

The Bahai- faith

1. Origin:

Originated by Mirza Ali Muhammad, later known as the Bab or the 'Gate.' In 1844 he proclaimed that "God the Exalted had elected him to the station of Babyhood." After his death (executed in 1850) one of his follower, Mirza Husayn Ali, later known as Baha'u'llah (the glory of god) assumed leadership. In 1863 (in Baghdad) announced that he "was the one whose coming had been foretold by the Bab – the chosen of god, the promised one of all the prophets." After his death there were several notable leaders of this faith.

  1. Some of the principles of the faith:

  1. All are one:

The Baha'i teaching is that all religions are in essence one. "Christ was the prophet of Christians, Moses of the Jews - why should not the followers of each prophet recognize and honor the other prophets too?" (Abdu'l Baha, "The Wisdom of Abdu'l Baha," p. 128).

  1. Manifestation and not incarnation:

The Baha'i faith believes in progressive revelation. God periodically sends his prophets to guide and assist mankind. This prophet or manifestation of god bring laws and teachings which apply to the needs of man at his particular time but which are not necessarily meant to be permanent. "Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements" (Baha'i World Faith, p.36).

Baha'is do not accept Jesus Christ as the incarnate God and reject all Christian teachings of this by explaining that His disciples perverted His word and teachings.

Baha'is believe Baha'u'llah to be the culmination of god's manifestation for this day and to be superior in the revelations he brought. The writings of Baha'u'llah, since they are god's last manifestations, are considered to have final authority. "The revelation of Jesus was for His own dispensation - that of 'the Son'. Now it is no longer the point of guidance to the world. We are in total darkness if we refuse the revelation of the present dispensation. Bah'is must be severed from all and everything that is past-things both good and bad-every-thing. Now all is changed. All the teaching of the past are past" (From the Star of the West, December 31. 1913).

Baha'u'llah's denial of the incarnation biblically classifies him as a false prophet. The Bible also says in 1 John 2,22.23 that those who deny the Son also deny the Father and call all liars who deny Jesus.

  1. Resurrection:

The Baha'i faith denies the bodily resurrection and justifies the Biblical accounts by saying it was a spiritual resurrection of the disciples faith after Jesus Christ's death,

  1. The Second Coming:

"If you are of the Christian faith which had its origin approximately in the year 1, your prophecy concerning the 'return of Christ in the glory of the Father' has been fulfilled. His new name in this day is Baha'u'llah, which means, 'the glory of god'" ("One Universal Faith" – Baha'i Publishing Trust).

Compare the following Biblical statements: Philippians 2,9-11; Isaiah 45,23; Matthew 24,29-31; Romans 14,1—12; 2 Corinthians 5,10; 2 Peter 3,10-13; Matthew 24,35; Revelation 21,1; 2 Peter 3,10.13, etc.

  1. Jesus Christ is God's only provision:

The four major areas satan undermines the Gospel are:

These remain the same in every cult as in the Baha'i faith.

"There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4,12).

Baha'i faith is a cult, a false religion and Baha'u'llah is a false prophet – compare 1 John 7.

A Christian must always make an informed decision ... a decision based on Biblical Principles!

The decision, which soon has to be made, is a political one: In our Two-Party Political System Socialism versus Liberalism.

Liberalism: An ideology professing freedom from a government that  restricts, endangers, removes personal freedom. Liberal movements led to establishment of many governments based on rule by law and by the consent of the governed.  Such constitutional governments have detailed bills of rights that proclaims the individual's right to freedom of speech, the press, assembly and religion. The bills of rights also attempted to provide safeguard against the abuse of the state.

Political and economic liberalism: "The government that governs least governs best." Economy is self-regulating - individuals must be allowed to develop to their full potential.

Socialism: An economic and political system. In contrast to Liberalism, Socialism emphasizes Collectivism. That is, not the right of the individual but that of the collective (state) is in the foreground. One of the greatest ideological influences, in developing Socialism, has the German Social Philosopher, Karl Marx (+1883). In his book, The Capital, he developed a socialist ideology which led to the ideology of Communism. Moderate Socialism is being considered as a stage in the development to Communist societies. Lenin (+1924) radicalized the above mentioned ideology and founded the Soviet Communist State.

The Capital: It is a sizable book of Marx and we can  offer only a few relevant thoughts. In states where Socialism rules in its extreme form, this book is considered "The Bible of the State."

 "Religion is opium for the people."  Being a West European, Marx was referring to Christianity. According to his opinion, Christianity is a poisonous drug, it is harmful and has to be eliminated. Radical socialism performed this idea literally and done everything to wipe out the Church.

Coercion is necessary because people must be forced to be good citizens. Personal freedom emphasized in Liberalism gives away in Socialism to the loss of individual freedom.

To fulfill Socialist ideas the major means of production has to be placed in the hands of the people, that is, in the hands of the state. Personal ownership is being replaced by state-owned enterprises. This led, in the extreme form of Socialism, to nationalization of private enterprises and even  private property.

Labor Unions: The chief aims of a labor (socialist) union are to improve the wages, hours, working conditions and job security of its members. When the unions were established, during the start of the so called Industrial Revolution (18th century),  they were a legitimate organization, protecting the rights of the workers. In our days it is a different matter:  Most unions insist on being the sole representative of a particular group of employees. They do not want to share the representation of the workers with any other group. In Australia (not just), under the labor government, in industries, where unions are firmly established, the newly joining workers were forced (coerced) to join the union. That is, they could not be employed unless they became members of the union. Such forced-unionism is contradictory to individual  freedom and has no place in a democratic society. Under the labor government the labor unions created an atmosphere of enmity between workers and employers, the atmosphere of confrontation and not cooperation. There is not a with-each-other but an against-each-other. The socialist labor unions are relics of a long past era.

In a democratic system elections are extremely important. The individual citizen, the individual Christian has an obligation to vote and vote according to Biblical principles. That is, for example, not according to 'what is better for my back-pocket' * but what is acceptable according to  Christian principles. Why do we emphasize Biblically based principles? Many people are going to church (and are even in leading position in the church), but not live and think Biblically. How can anyone claim to be a Christian and follow the believes of Evolution, Socialism, approve homosexuality, are members of Free Masonry, not believe in the Virgin Birth, etc.

* The present political atmosphere, created by both parties, where the opponents are trying to out-bet each other, is deplorable.

And finally who is a Christian?  The person is a Christian who gave his /her life to Jesus the Christ and live and think according to His principles (according to Biblical principles).



This booklet is a result of (1) the leading of an Australian parish and it often reflects its life (see cont. in Ser 2) and (2) everyday events which had to be dealt with.

The building of the Body of Chris

`Have as if you would not have at all'

Introduction to meditation


Christian Revivals of the Past and Present Centuries/

Alpha course

The Church


A new subject area is introduced


Friend or mate?

The THREE Existence-modes of Christ

The Presence; The Glory; In Christ


Do we value our freedom of worship?

A biography with a difference

The different state of human nature

Paul the Apostle and his ministry

Suggestions for daily prayer

Healing, Baptism in the Holy Spirit; after the

Baptism; Prayer for inner healing, including our memories

The baptism by John and of Jesus

Who are my closest relatives?


The civilization of the 20th century

The divine Liturgy of the Church

"You shall love your God with all your heart..."

The Our Father

`I am crucified with You...'

In the Name of the Father

Lord, You have promised


The Gloria


The Creed

Greeting of Peace

Holy, Holy, Holy



Let us proclaim

Prayers after the Consecration

We Commemorate

We Remembering

The Holy of Hollies

`Breaking the Body'

Preparation for receiving Holy Communion



Closing Prayers



The New Age and Angels

Corporal punishment


Salt and light of the world

House Church/Group/ Fellowship

You have a terminally ill relative?

So called modern music

Creation versus evolution

The concept of family

Artificial interference with human conception

Unnatural human affections

Christian education

Tradition...the Law

"...through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles..." (Rom 11,11)

Is there an unconditional love?


Is God omnipotent?



Every human being has a purpose

When did the human Jesus know what the divine Christ knew? Matthew 17,1-8

"You are not under the Law but under Grace" (Rom 6,14)

The Passover Meal

`Charity begins at home'




Israel asks for a king/ The Church rejects her foundations

Striving for healing

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God..."

Modern music - a second look

Adam - fiction or fact?

Thanksgiving for the faithful departed

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." Mt 6,33

"Ask and it will be given to you" Mt 7,7

The death and resurrection of Lazarus, Jn 11

The God-intended relationship between man and woman

"Anyone who proclaims you a Gospel contrary..."

Moses raised up a serpent


`Christian' un-Christian missionary efforts

"In him we live and move and exist" Acts 17,28

Good Friday IS followed by the Resurrection

What are your priorities?

Are the Jews guilty and the Christians innocent?

Eye-witness and commissioning

The Original Church

The constitution of the resurrected body

Social responsibility of Christians

The relationship of man and woman in marriage

What is ailing our Christianity?

The Star of David

The sacrifice of Christ and my response

Jesus said: "I am the Way..." (Jn 14,6a)

Thoughts to consider

(God's names)

Why did Jesus have to die?

The Bible

Jesus Christ

(a summary)


The building up of the Body of Christ has two main aspects: The physical and the spiritual. It is important to understand that those two aspects have to go hand in hand and parallel with each other. It would be a great mistake to place an emphasis on the physical building up while neglecting the spiritual.

The first subject area which I am talking to you about is prayer. Prayer is one of the most important fundaments of our Christian lives.

Just to emphasize again, prayer, individual and corporal, is absolutely necessary: If we do not communicate with God we do not have fellowship with Him.

Today we will learn to put on the armor of God, the weapons which the Scriptures recommend. It is important in our spiritual walk to learn how to defend ourselves against the enemy, that is, satan.

A few preliminary thoughts:

- We have to realize that satan is a defeated enemy and he can not do more to us than we or God allow him to do;

- The Scripture says: "...resist the devil and he MUST flee" (James 4,7). This statement indicates to us several things: First of all that we have a free will and than that we have to resist. Many Christians turn to God in the time of temptation and ask Him to deliver them. This is a very pious thought but God will not do the `job' for us: WE have to resist the devil in Jesus Name and he will flee from us. We use a simple prayer: `Devil, depart from me in the Name of Jesus.'

- Jesus shed His Blood on Calvary. Through the shedding of His Blood Jesus defeated the enemy. Our prayer shall be: `I put myself (and my family) under the protection of the Blood of Jesus.'

- We have to realize that we are not fighting against flesh and blood (see Eph 6,12) but against spiritual powers.

- Lets us read Ephesians 6,10-18, that is, the chapter on spiritual warfare.

The weapons of our warfare:

It is important that you put on this armor every morning during your morning prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to support your effort. I will also give you some practical hints, how to put it on.

When Paul presented to his Christians the armor of God, he took as an example a Roman soldier's weapons. Their clothing and armor was very practical.

Under his weaponry, the Roman soldier wore a short tunic. Before he could put on his armor, he had to first put on his BELT which held together the tunic.

The BELT is the TRUTH. We have to live in the truth otherwise all other weapons are useless.

There is no such a thing as a `white lie.' A lie can be verbal and a nonverbal one, that is, a behavior: We are putting on a mask and project someone which we are not.

If you have a problem with the truth, you put on the "belt of truth", that is, during your morning prayer you make a firm resolution to be yourself and tell the truth. During your evening prayer you will pay special attention to this resolution and if you failed you will plan a new strategy (like a good general) for the next day, trying to correct the mistakes you made the preceding day.

The next armor is the BREASTPLATE - RIGHTEOUSNESS. This armor of the soldier protected his breast, that is, his heart.

Righteousness is often used for God and meant His faithfulness.

Faithfulness is so important that without it no human community (family, church, state) can function properly. To be faithful in words and deeds is extremely important in our walk with God and with each other.

If you have a problem with faithfulness, plan your day accordingly in prayer.

A good soldier looks after his feet. The Roman soldier had a very strong `shoe.' It is unimaginable for a warrior to fight on the battlefield without shoes. The debris laying around would disable him. Paul says: "put on the SHOES of the GOSPEL" (Good News). We Christians have to learn to walk in the Good News.

Many Christians live (`walk') according to all kinds of humanistic, New-Age, etc., ideas.

Just to mention one of these `ungodly walks', humanism: It is not Christian. The humanist has at best human beings in the center of his life, mainly his own ego but certainly not Christ. We have to learn to think and "walk" in our daily lives according to biblical principles.


The Roman soldier's shield was a large one. He could hide behind it and was adequately protected from the front. When we walk in faith with Jesus, God will protect us. Nothing can happen to God's faithful People that God does not allow.

This does not mean that a Christian doesn't have to suffer. As a matter of fact, God sometimes even allows His people to be killed. The Church was built on the blood of martyrs.

If we walk with the shield of faith, the arrows and the attacks of the enemy will bounce off.

The HELMET of SALVATION. The soldier's helmet protected his head.

"...bring all thoughts under the rulership of Christ" (2 Cor 10,5).

It is incredible how many useless and/or sinful thoughts go through our heads a day. Many thoughts are popping up because of circumstances, events, encounters with situations and people, which we can't do anything about. The problem starts when we start to dwell on them.

Negative thoughts are almost unavoidable but with the "helmet of salvation" you can turn them into positive ones. How can the Bible help us? During your regular Bible reading a verse, a word, a paragraph will "pop out" of that reading. This can be a personal message of God to you. You may learn this by heart. After some time you will have an extensive knowledge of the Bible, a large potential "shield" which you can use, replacing negative thoughts with biblical ones. Start now! Put yourself on the road and `build your shield!'...`build your helmet!'

SWORD of the SPIRIT. The sword of the Spirit is a two edged sword - for defense and for offense. The soldier protects and attacks with it.

To learn to use the sword of the Spirit is very important because as good soldiers of Christ we have to learn to protect ourselves (see above: `I put myself under the Blood of Jesus') and also we have to learn to attack the enemy (see above: "...resist the devil..."). See also the remarks on the Helmet of Salvation.


All the above mentioned armor protects the soldier from the front. What is protecting him from behind? Who is protecting the Christian's back? The soldier behind you, your fellow Christian.

Intercession cannot be overestimated. It is extremely important that other Christians are praying for us and we praying for them.

`Have as if you would not have at all.'

See Lk 12,32-34;9,58;4,18;18,22;6,24; Mk 12,41-44; Mt 19,16-24; Ps 16,5

It is obvious and perhaps disturbing that the New Testament praises the poor and finds quite hard words for the rich. For instance Jesus says: "Blessed be the poor..."; "I came to preach the Good News to the poor." Talking about Himself He says: "The Son of Man has no place where he can lay his head." Indeed, at the time when Jesus began His Public Ministry, He left everything: His profession, His home and joined the "have nots." On the other hand, He declared: "When you are rich you have already claimed your reward." There is the well known parable of the Rich Young Man who came and asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit the Kingdom. After he claimed he had fulfilled all the commandments, Jesus looked at him and said: "There is one thing you still have to do. Sell everything you have, give it to the poor and follow me." The young man turned away and left because he had a lot of possessions. An other well known parable is the `Widow's coin.' Jesus praised the widow because she gave the last of all she had, while the rich gave only something from his superfluity.

What shall we think? Is being poor a virtue and being rich a vice? If nothing else, my experience will tell me that this is not the case. After the war we had nothing. There was a lot of poverty and hunger around the place. There were many who bore their poverty (`to be a have not') with dignity and love and others who rebelled against it. The poor who are willing to accept their situation and put their trust in God, turn their entire state into a virtuous state. Many Christians followed the path of Christ literally: Some members of the Original Church sold everything and gave to those who had less. During later centuries there were others who followed this path. One of the well known example is Francis of Assisi. Poverty as a virtue is a thing of the heart!

The attitude of the widow, mentioned above, shows a tremendous trust in God (the virtue of trust and faith): She puts herself entirely into God's hands. It is not what she gave that mattered, but her trust and faith in God. She believed that God would honor her sacrifice and not let her down, but sustain her.

On the other hand there was the rich man who, in his pride, was boasting of his giving. Believing that he had done enough, mocked the poor widow. Riches have many dangers. One of the greatest pitfalls of it is pride and striving for power.

God is the Giver of all things. Nothing we have is ours, not even our lives. He lent it to us and expects us to be `Good Stewards' of everything He entrusted us. We must use it according to His will. Therefore, the person who has, has a great responsibility. The Scripture does not urge everyone to sell everything. What matters is: How does the person use what he has. If the rich lives up to God's expectations, he is virtuous. Riches or poverty as a virtue is therefore a thing of the heart!

You may ask: Who is rich? It is a fact that only a small percentage of the world population lives under such satisfactory conditions as we Australians do. But there is great poverty not just outside but also in this country.

Let us talk about ourselves. We have to ask the question: What are my priorities? An honest answer would most likely give the following: My family, job, husband, wife, children, social obligations, etc. and whatever is left over of my time, money, energy, etc., I will give some of it to God. I hope we feel the absurdity of this. How can we expect God's blessing upon such an attitude? God's Kingdom cannot expand if we are busy with everything else and give the leftovers to God. Jesus died for you! He did this for you...what are you doing for Him?

Everything we have is God's! And He demands the best part and not the tale-end of it: We talking about sacrificial giving. This "sacrificial spirit" can not be obtained through works. It will come to us through a personal relationship with Jesus, which is a gift of the Heavenly Father. We can (must) pray for a disposition which will grant us a thirst, a hunger and a desire for a friendship with Jesus. We need healing, that God may exchange our stony heart with a heart of compassion, love, trust and sacrificial giving. God is faithful and He will grant our fervent petition!

The family of God can not grow unless it receives this healing. What shall we do to obtain it? First we have to admit that God is not the center of our lives. We have to repent for this and seek His guidance. We must pray individually and as a Parish-family for this above mentioned change of heart. The change will not occur overnight. But if we are honest and persistent in our endeavor, God will honor His promise ("ask and you will receive" - Mt 7,7) and will grant us our request!

Let us pray:

I will not pray for you, but rather I will pray with you. As one who is also struggling to put God first in his life!

Lord, we thank You that You are here with us as we confess our shortcomings to You. You know that we are a fearful people and are afraid to trust You. Lord, we have our own priorities and very seldom think of Your priorities.

Father, help us to understand that Your Son died that we might live and that others might "live through us", that is, that we give You our time, energy and other resources, that the poor might be fed, the Gospel might be preached and many might be saved.

Thank You Jesus that Your Holy Spirit will guide us individually and as a Parish-family, into greater spiritual heights.

Thank You for Your patience. Give us insight to recognize Your will and the strength to fulfil it. Grant us a joyous heart in Your Presence! Amen!



Preliminary thoughts:

There is a `prayer of the mind' and a `prayer of the heart.' Both prayers are biblical and necessary. One does not exclude but complement the other.

Most Christians are praying with their `mind' and have difficulties with the prayer of the `heart,' that is, meditation.

In the prayer of the mind it is ourselves who are taking the initiative. Meditation is the work of the Spirit, Who prays within us (see Rom 8,26).

Making progress:

The progress is in the stillness which we obtain through meditation. It is not even a goal. It is the absence of effort and the desire of achieve it.

Meditation is the state of being entirely open to the fullness of reality contained in the love of Jesus as He sweeps us beyond ourselves into the mystery of the limitless love of the Father.

For our heart to be purely open to God's reality we require the simplicity of a child (see Lk 18,17), to sit still in the presence of God and to remain open to Him.

However perfect or skilled our human mind may be, it is as nothing compared to the wholly ineffable mystery we can enter only by treading the path of simplicity - the Holy Spirit will lead us.

Often we find that we have put ourselves at the center of the world. Meditation is learning to stand back and to allow God to come to the forefront of life. Meditation is the step away from self-centredness to God-centredness.


The Holy Spirit will teach you to be a listener and as a listener you will hear the Spirit's teaching you humility, poverty, fidelity, hope, etc.

My heart is restless until it rests in Thee: To find rest is to find THE solid base out of which we live - Jesus Christ. Having been rooted and grounded in the solid rock-Christ, we then live `in Christ' (see Jn 14,15-20). The experience of meditation is about this `being rooted and living' in Christ.

We are created to be simple, to be one and to be in the state of oneness and peace. Meditation is one way to this oneness with ourselves, with others and with Christ. Through submerging into the Spirit we "share in the life of His Son Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 1,9). Each Christian must understand that THIS is his vocation: Each of us is called to share in the fullness of the life of Christ. Christianity is not primarily concerned with knowledge of God or knowledge about God. It is concerned with coming to knowledge IN God. This again sums up the whole purpose of meditation The plan for the entire universe is to share in the LIFE of God in Jesus.

Meditation is a way to poverty and purity of heart which allows us to "see" God (see Mt 5,8).

Meditation is our way out of our selves into God. To follow this way the most essential quality is meditation.

The Early Church was utterly clear that our call is to enter into the very life of God (compare Lk

17,21). We have to leave everything behind and to become utterly poor in order to enter the presence of God and for this we need faith.

The Christian experience cannot be shared second-hand. Everyone has to experience God for himself.

Think of it not so much as a time for `doing' meditation as simply a time for being...for being in the presence of God.

All of us are called to knowledge, to know God with a fullness that propels us beyond mere conceptual knowledge into love. To know God is to love God! The only way we can come to this knowledge is through the Spirit. The principle office of the Spirit is to bear testimony to Christ. The Spirit in our hearts leads us to this knowledge of Christ which becomes love and which takes us beyond ourselves, with Christ, into God.

Words define beliefs. Words change. And so beliefs change. Beliefs are entirely secondary to faith which does not change. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ. The task of our life is to make contact with this Faith. The clear message of the New Testament is that Jesus Christ communicates to us His essence, His own being.

In silence the Spirit leads us into the pure prayer of love, which again leads into Christ.

Through meditation we are discovering the wonder of His involvement in our life.

Every experience of making contact with the power of Jesus in meditation will show us what is essential, that is, not to DO but to BE, the redeemed, the loved of Christ.

In our meditation, our prayer is not our own but Jesus'. The pilgrimage we have to make is the journey away from self into the mystery of God. We learn how to wait on God.

There is a wide spread heresy forbidding repetitive prayer. This teaching is based on a single (misinterpreted) Bible passage: Matthew 6,7. This verse is correctly translated thus: "Do not keep on babbling like pagans..." "Babbling" is an expression which means the following:

1. Most pagan religions use `mantra' in their practices. Mantra is mostly a name of a heathen god. By repeating it, it brings the worshiper into contact with this god. The pagan believes that by repeating this word over and over again, his request will be heard and granted.

The Jews used (use) a sort of repetitive prayer: Their constant repetition of the Law (or other parts of the Scriptures) had decisive differences to that of the pagan "babbling". God Himself commanded to "repeat" His Word and keep it in mind (see Deut 6,5-9;11,13-21: "Tie them on your hands and bind them on your foreheads"). The recitation or repetition of the Ordinances of God also helped the Jews to live according to God's precepts.

The mind is our organ for truth; the `heart' (the innermost center of our being) our organ for love. Through the discipline of meditation we bring our mind and heart into a harmony that purifies and heals.

Meditation is a pilgrimage in which, in the depths of our being, the Spirit speaks to our spirit.

Our part in meditation is to enter the stillness and to wait there for God.

When we begin to meditate we notice the disturbance coming from our thoughts. To eliminate this `chatter', to put ourselves at ease and to allow the Spirit to communicate undisturbed with our spirit we use a Sacred Word or Passage:

Before we can meditate, that is, listen to God, we have to come to stillness. To learn this will take some time and practice.


By meditation we mean that contact with God, which takes place in the deepest part of our person, usually called the heart.

Meditating on the Word of God, for instance, on the Name of Jesus will fill us with Him (compare Rom 12,2; Eph 4,23; Phil 4,8; 1 Pe 1,13).

Meditate the Lord and enter deeply into the mystery of who He is.

The great `monks' of the Ancient Church, the Desert Fathers, rediscovered and recommended the constant meditation of the Word of God. One of their favorite Sacred Word was "ma-ra-na-tha" (this Aramaic word means, "Come Lord, Come Lord Jesus" (see 1 Cor 16,22; Rev 22,20).

For the Ancients, the name of the person was synonymous with the person. Speaking the name of a person brings the very person into the life of the speaker. Speaking out, calling on (in faith) the Name of Jesus brings the Lord into our hearts and gives us healing, His salvation and protection (see Rom 10,13; Acts 3,6;16,18;22,16; Mk 9,38.39;16,17; Lk 10,17). The other very common Sacred Word was the Name of JESUS.

Meditation expresses, practices and experiences:

"Fill your minds with..." (Phil 4,8) Jesus and His message;

"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps 34,8);

"All I want is to know Christ and..." (Phil 3,10) - this is not an intellectual knowledge, but rather a `heart knowledge', that is, to know Him in my heart through an intimate and growing personal relationship.

With each meditation inner stillness is necessary.

Obtaining this inner stillness means to return to our Center, to our innermost being, to our heart. Let me explain: Imagine yourself as a house. Children love to paint pictures of houses. A house means security, a home, my home. I live in me, my whole being, I live from the center, from my heart.

If a person loses his center (lives mainly or only according to reason), he is not comfortable in himself; he cannot identify with himself, is uneasy and loses himself. What leads him to leave his house, to leave his center? Usually it is caused by yielding to the world in which we live, in which success and achievement count, and which is planned on mathematical reasoning and functions as a result of agreement and organization. In the biblical sense, this is `flesh' and not `spirit.'

We are always in danger of losing our center. This is why we must continually turn away from the world and return to our center, that is, meditate.

Let yourself go! Give your life to the Lord! "Dine" (Rev 3,20) with Him in the center of your being! Meditate!

Start your meditation:

1. Sit down, relaxed and upright. Place yourself into the presence of God: "Here I am," Lord (see 1 Sam 3,4);

2. Read the Bible and select your Sacred Word or passage;

returning to simply saying your Sacred Word. Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes. [Start with 5-10 minutes – but do not "time" it – just let it happen. It does not matter if it is longer or shorter.]

During meditation the Holy Spirit will speak into the quietness, will take over and teach you. And the peace of God will come over you and your inner knowledge and union of Him will grow! The Spirit of God will overcome your obstacles and will heal your heart. Let yourself be filled with the Spirit of God!

Christian Revivals of the Past and Present Centuries - general observations

(special comments on the so called Toronto Blessing and the Alpha Course)

Revival becomes necessary when the Church goes astray. Since the death of the Apostles and the disappearance of the Charismatic Offices (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist and Teacher, see Eph 4,11-12 and the book `The Witness of the Times'), the Body of Christ is gradually decaying. False teachings and divisions weakened and are still weakening the Church and her witness (see Jn 14,21). The Apostle warned the Church of being invaded by satan-infiltrated intruders (see Acts 20,29-31), who will strive to destroy God's flock.

Christ built His Church on the foundation of the Apostles (see Eph 2,19-20). As soon as this foundation disintegrated, the Church was floating on `marshland': The so called apostolic offices (bishop, priest, deacon - a second hand authority) replaced the firsthand Charismatic Office-authority, given by Christ to His Church.

The result of this development was obvious already at the time of Constantine the Great (+ 337). The world entered the Church. The state-church was governed by secular principles. Wealth, worldly considerations and position took the place of the Christ given spiritual structure. The Church was gradually losing her spiritual power. The signs and the gifts (see Mk 17,16-18; 1 Cor 12,7-10), promised by Christ, disappeared from the Church.

The `second hand authority' is a powerless authority; void to a great extent of the spiritual powers which are necessary to govern the Church and to witness effectively in the world.

Many have tried to correct this condition of the Church but all so-called reform movements have failed because they did not have the spiritual commissioning of Christ, the commissioning of an Apostle. The only way which will lead the Church back to its original state is the reestablishment of the Charismatic Offices - this can only be done by Christ Himself. At the end of time, before the Return of Christ, the Church will be reunited on its divine foundations (Eph 4,11) and will prepare the Saints for their Rapture.

Before we go to the second part of this treatise, we must confirm also that the Holy Spirit did not completely abandon the Church and in spite of His reduced activity (trying to overcome human frailty, sinfulness and the lack of Apostle-guidance) He was guiding her through the ages. That this guidance was reduced and that often human sin prevailed is obvious - we just have to look at church history.

The lack of discernment is a part of the general problem facing the derailed Church, but because this shortcoming had and still has a devastating effect on the Church, resulting in the many defects which will be mentioned below, we felt that we have to mention it separately. Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to a united Church, based on the foundation of the Apostles.

An important common denominator of all these movements is the Protestant doctrine of individualism, that is, every Christian is directly responsible to God. This believe is correct if one does not ignore our `horizontal accountability,' that is, that Jesus founded ONE Church with a visible hierarchy (Charismatic Offices) and every Christian must be subordinated to it. The above mentioned Protestant teaching ignores this basic Biblical doctrine. According to Protestant principle, every Christian (including every pastor of course) is an infallible teacher, interpreter of the Bible, judge and jury in his/her own right.

This unspoken doctrine is based on the belief that every Christian, having the Holy Spirit, will be led by Him to `all the truths.' This Biblical truth is twisted to the extent that a Protestant cannot be corrected by anyone - he has only one authority above him, that is, God. The truth of the matter is, that the innumerable Protestant sects with their contradictory teachings (the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself) are a mute testimony that we cannot clearly discern the voice of the Spirit and are subject to all kinds of false believes and sins. Infallibility is a `property' of the United Church, led by the Christ appointed Twelve Apostle.

In the light of the above mentioned Biblical facts we will now examine some reform movements of the past and present centuries. Although, as we stated, these movements could not reestablish the original integrity of the Church, they often served as an instrument of the Spirit to, for instance, rediscover lost Biblical truths. Never the less, because they did not have the Apostle- foundation all reform movements ended up exaggerating the discovered truths, being infiltrated by false teachings and adding to the splitting up of the Church. No Church can claim today that they have all the truth and nothing but the truth!

Through the Pentecostal Movement of the last century, the Holy Spirit brought to the surface the lost Gifts of the Spirit (see 1 Cor 12,7-11[12]). That this movement became a separate church is not of the Spirit. Exaggerating the importance of the gifts (not having the Charismatic Offices) and lacking on discernment, this church became one of the organizations further splitting up the Body of Christ.

The Catholic Apostolic Church, founded also in the 19th century, was instrumental in bringing back the Biblical idea of the Charismatic Offices. The basic idea was correct, but the enemy got in by the human selection of the Twelve Apostles. Apostles are, by Biblical definition,`eye-witnesses' of the Lord (see Acts 1,22) and therefore they must be selected personally by Christ Himself. The best example for this is Paul, who was chosen by Jesus through a personal encounter on the road to Damascus. This church has now practically disintegrated.

Through the Baptist Church the Spirit corrected the generally accepted false teaching of infant baptism. Unfortunately, lacking the above mentioned Biblical foundations, she turned into a splitter of the Body and is full of false teachings.

Through the 20th century Charismatic Movement the Holy Spirit brought the Biblical Gifts into the major denominations. Unfortunately again, as these churches (groups) are lacking the basic Biblical foundation, this movement brought not just blessings but also a lot of confusion into the divided Body of Christ.

The Charismatic movement has many `faces,' that is, many different directions. As in the different Christian sects, we can observe some divine and some satanic infiltration. Depending on the group and its leadership we can observe the true Gifts of the Spirit or its counterfeits or a mixture of both.

It is certain that the Holy Spirit uses the Charismatic movement to reveal and keep alive certain divine truths and gather God's People, preparing them for the coming of the End Time Church. Within this preparation the Lord is doing a profound work of emotional healing and of binding up broken hearts, as well as deliverance from demonic oppression where necessary.

I believe that in these days in preparation for the End Time Church, the Lord is preparing people who are able to be strong in Him, have a deep knowledge of Him and are ready to accept the coming of His Apostles.

I believe also that as a result of what the Spirit is doing there, in this movement there is a restoration of right relationships within families, turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and of the children to their father (see Mal 4,6). This is also an End Time preparation. But we have to be aware that satan uses the same movement to infiltrate churches and lead believers astray, preparing them for his purposes.

In our predicament of not having the above mentioned Biblical foundations (Charismatic Offices), we can but try to discern some of the teachings and phenomena occurring in these groups which are popping up all over the world, claiming to be genuine, that is, of the Holy Spirit. The preceding and the following `discernment' is subject to the approval of the End-Time Apostles.

I wish to mention here only the so called Toronto experience, which already has many followers and opposers; many different "colorings" depending on in which denomination it is practiced.

There are two basic factors which I wish to examine: 1. The teachings of those who `founded' this movement and 2. the phenomena it self.

1. The teachings:

From the fruits you will know the tree (see Mt 7,17).

We will present but a few teachings of some of the leading men in, as we may call it, The New Wave Movements.

The following quotations are taken directly from teachings and writings of people directly responsible for founding and leading this movement:

a. - "The Holy Spirit is the one that gives God the characteristic of being omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent."* What he is in fact saying is that God the Father and God the Son don't have the characteristics that belong fully to each member of the Godhead. If Jesus is not omnipotent then He is not fully God.

R.Howard-Browne's teaching, 13th of February 1995 in Adelaide. He comes from the South African Rhema movement (School).

John Arnott,* the founder of the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church (known as "the Toronto blessing"), was `blessed' in one of the Howard-Browne meetings.

*John Arnott is a member of J. Wimber's Vineyard Churches (Churchland Christian Fellowship in Perth WA, is a Vineyard Church).

R.Howard-Browne, Kenneth E. Hagin and Kenneth Copeland are all members of the Rhema Faith movement (teaching, among other things, the infamous "prosperity" doctrine).

R.H. Browne and K. Copeland are co-workers. They are frequently presenting their message together.

In "The Coming Revival," by Howard-Browne (p.13), he names numerous people, calling them "great men of God". Among them is William Branham, an anti-Trinitarian.

b. "Trinitarianism is of the devil"* - under no circumstances can we classify an anti-Trinitarian as a Christian.

* William Branham "Footprints on the Sands of Time," Part Two, Spoken Word Publications, 1975, p. 606-607.

c. "Why did he (Jesus) need to be begotten and born? Because he became like we were - separated from God. Because he tasted spiritual death for every man. And his spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can't you see that? Physical death wouldn't remove sins. He's tasted death for every man. Jesus is the first person that was ever born again. Why did his spirit need to be born again? Because it was estranged from God."*

K.E. Hagin was the founder of the RHEMA Bible Church movement (a fundamentalist, pentecostal splitter group), and one of the key leaders in the Word-Faith movement*.

He denies that the physical death of Jesus removed our sins and brings the Lord Jesus down to the level of a born-again sinner.

* Word-Faith movement or Rhema movement teaches that "what you are saying will become," that is, your spoken word has a `being.' In the context of the `prosperity doctrine' (if you are in tune with God then you are healthy and wealthy), if you are saying (long enough) that you are healthy, you will be healthy.

d. "The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth"*.

* K. Hagin, "The Incarnation," The Word of Faith, December 1980, p.14.

e. "God's reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself. I mean a reproduction of himself. And in the garden of Eden he did that...Adam in the garden of Eden was God manifested in flesh."*

* Kenneth Copeland, "Following the Faith of Abraham 1," Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989, audio tape #01-3001, side 1.

f. (Speaking of Jesus) "...And now God had a way to hover over a little woman by the name of Mary. And there was born of the virgin woman a product of God...Now you see God is injected his word into the earth to produce this Jesus..."*

  1. Kenneth Copeland, "The Image of God in You," K.C. Ministries, 1989, audio tape #01-1403, side 2.

g."Now it wasn't the physical death on the cross that paid the price for wasn't physical death - anybody could do that."*

* K.C., "What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost," K.C. Ministries, audio tape #02-0022.

Kenneth Copeland does not have a Christian concept of God and of Jesus Christ: God is demoted to a limited human being; Jesus is the product of God and, according to him, we are not saved by His death on the cross.

Summary of some of his teachings:

- He is actively dissuades people from praying in his meetings.

- He has warned people not to discern with their minds, just to `yield.'

- He preaches `health and wealth.'

- He proudly declares that `the less I preach, the more people get blessed.' He is instrumental in the discrediting and destruction of sound Gospel preaching.

- His teaching - on the Holy Spirit and his role connected to Him; on hell, etc. mildly put, are questionable.

Kenneth Copeland and R. Howard-Browne are co-workers. They are frequently presenting their messages together.

2. The phenomena:

After talking to Christians who were present in some of the Toronto meetings, seeing videos of the manifestations, listening to lectures on the movements (pro and contra), listening to tapes and reading reports, I arrived at the following conclusion:

We are not doubting that many Christians are earnestly seeking. The question is: What are they seeking and what are they finding?

The New Wave Movement over emphasizes experience. Visiting some churches connected to this movement, you will be asked: "Do you come for the manifestation?" "Are you blessed?"

St. Paul emphasizes that the renewal of the mind is the necessary way to transformation and therefore a part of genuine worship (see Eph 4,23; Rom 12,2). The New Wave Movement does not know the renewal of the mind - it is all about feelings!

Some of the manifestations are justified with the Old Testament. For example: Saul (see 1 Sam 10,10;19,23) doing strange things (King Saul is not a typical example for Christians); Moses and some of the prophets, are described as falling down when God came to them - the difference is, that they did so as a result of God appearing to them. However, we are not Old Testament people; we are people of the post-Pentecost era. Who falls down in the New Testament? Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9,4). He fell because Jesus appeared to him. John on Patmos (Rev 1,17) fell as a result of a vision of Christ in His glory. He also fell before an angel (Rev 19,10;22,8) and he was corrected because his behavior was inappropriate. Also, when John fell as dead before Jesus, Jesus encouraged him that such a response (fear?) was likewise inappropriate (Rev 1,17-18).

Some experiences are compared with `being drunk in the Spirit' and using Acts 2,13) as an example. In the New Wave Movement the people who are `acting drunk' (unable to stand without assistance because their legs were like jelly) are lacking in the ability to move from their `state of inebriation' to a coherent proclamation such as given by Peter on the day of Pentecost.

Somewhere there is the sense that it is what God has done somewhere else that we need. It is not what God has done elsewhere that is needed. We need God Himself!

The movement is splitting up congregations and churches.

The believers are convulsing in laughter beyond their control. The Holy Spirit always respects our free will! A compulsion is the work of satan.

Feelings are over emphasized and practiced in an entertainment-carnival atmosphere.

There is a visible demonstration of power without the corresponding sense of God in the midst of sequels of carnal excitement and loud music bursting ones eardrums. Here is an atmosphere contrary to God's holiness and character - an abandonment of all restraint: Leap in or get out of the way of others if you cannot participate!

The meetings are characterized by ear-splitting `worship', high-powered offerings, calculated theatrics, carnival bawdiness, chilling shrieks and cries that punctuate the proceedings, the conspicuous absence of the preached word (except perhaps in a token way or in a way serving the purpose of the stage-manager), etc.

There is an all out denunciation of those who have reservation against this movement. They are called `enemies' and `threats' to this so called outpouring of God.

What we are reaping is what was (and still is) carelessly sown in the past decades of the so called Charismatic movement: The immaturity of many Christians was encouraged by placing too much expectations on personalities, styles of worship and signs. The Cross and the narrow path was avoided! Christians need to have a balance of the two - to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus and to be expectant that the power of the Holy Spirit will be manifest in our lives.

The Cross is out, bathing in feelings and getting high on "spiritual drugs" are in.

When `experience' is a `quick-fix' alternative to Biblical discipline, we are putting ourselves in spiritual jeopardy.

Does not this `quick-fix' encourages a tendency which promotes an immaturity of believers? We human beings prefer to be effortlessly `acted upon' miraculously, rather than diligently seeking God on the basis of the promise of His Word (see Jer 29,13)?

It is a Biblical fact that when something eventuates in blessing, release, or deliverance there is no sure evidence or guarantee that it is of God (see Mt 24,24). The same powers of darkness which have wrought the oppressions through careless or unclean living can just as easily relieve them - restoring even relationships broken and made miserable by them - in order to bring about a greater deception!

Even the most rapturous `love of God' can be a deception if one is not willing to love and obey God unconditionally.

Is the `hunger for God' genuine, or is it a hunger for an experience of God that will assure the insecure soul that they are known and are accepted of God?

"One crippled woman arose and walked, instantly healed. Another who had been in bed for four years with palsy was restored to health. A child, who was suffering from brain fever and was given up to die by physicians, was healed and after a few hours was playing about the floor." This account has not been quoted from a Pentecostal magazine, but from a report of the Mormon church, whose central teaching (for instance on the divinity of Christ) is contrary to the Word of God. We also read that after a Mormon baptism, the new believer was filled with joy and the `experience' changed his life. Satan will counterfeit all what the Holy Spirit may do or give in order to permanently separate the soul from God.

Our age is becoming more and more a PSYCHIC age. It is an age of the soul and not of the spirit; the soul is spilling over and asserting itself, taking control of everything in Christianity as well as outside of it - a soul age! Christians are after signs, trying to obtain them in a highly emotional and psychic atmosphere.

Summary of some of the teachings and phenomena of the Toronto Experience:

- Wild, uncontrollable laughter.

- Impromptu, vague and unbiblical prophecies.

- Lack of Biblical teaching.

- Absence of the Cross, sin, repentance or faith in Christ crucified.

- Disregard for Biblical discernment.- Animal noises.

- Interruption and anarchy.

- `Health and wealth' prosperity teaching.

- Flash link between phenomena and inner spirituality.

- End-time global revivalism, etc.

Are we not in the last days? Have we not been warned about deception (see 1 Jn 4,1; 1 Thess 5,21)? Haven't we heard from "lying signs and wonders" (see Mt 24,24)? The last day's (our day's) deception will be spiritual "for satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (see 2 Cor 11,14).

If the enemy can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing `benefits' as the determinant by which something is judged to be of God, we have been brought to the very ground of deception itself.

A true revival of the Church is possible only on the foundation which was laid by the Christ, that is, by the Apostle-office. What we are experiencing now, that is, the general outpouring of the Spirit (often misinterpreted and misused by the different so called churches) is nothing more than a preparation of the individual Christian (not the churches - sects!) for the coming of the End Time Church.

The next important Signs of the Times is the establishment of the End Time Church, led by the Twelve End Time Apostles. Our present task is to pray and wait expectantly for it.

"The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" (see 1 Pe 4,7).

Slaying in the spirit! What spirit?

"Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 Jn 4,1).

During Jesus' preaching, no one fell down from excess of emotions. He did not play on people's emotions. He did not mentally manipulated people. He simply told them the truth, what He heard from the Father (see Jn 8,26b; 15,15). He wanted people to be completely sober and composed and able to exercise one of the most precious gift God had given them, their freedom to choose. He was calling people to a relationship of love and obedience. For as much as people are free to choose, they are also able to love and obey.

When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2,14f), he was full of the Holy Spirit and the power from on high. There are certain preachers who induce a spiritual crisis by addressing the emotions of their listeners. Peter appealed to the intellect (as Paul also appealed to Christians for the "renewal" of their mind, see Eph 4,23) of his listeners, telling them what happened, and finished his preaching by presenting Jesus to them as their Lord and Messiah. Peter did not scare (or charmed) people into the Kingdom of God, but sought a response to the grace and the love of God.

It is not the experience that tests of measures the Word of God. It is the Word of God that measures experience!

There is a world of difference between the manifestations of the Spirit, as described in the Bible, and the manifestations of those associated with the slaying in the spirit. The slaying in the spirit is sense-oriented. The Biblical experience is spirit-oriented. The only `sense' experiences in Scripture are those that are necessary in order to receive a revelation from God, that is, someone hears a message or sees a vision! The physical experiences People of God had were related to the revealed message. They never existed on their own, as in the case of slaying in the spirit.

It is very significant that, in the whole Bible, there is not a passage that contains a mention of the varieties of shaking, jerking, uncontrollable weeping or laughing (concerning 1 Sam 19,23f, see the treatise "Christian Revival of the Past and Present Centuries" and see also OT Commentary to this passage).

The only reactions to the Spirit of God are those appropriate in the face of the holiness of God.

The human being is created for Christ, as His temple. A human being might shake in fear, may prostrate (fall, if you wish) before the Lord because of feeling unworthy and sinful.

We will bring you here a significant observation:

Often the first encounter with the evil spirit is accompanied by violent manifestations which, over time, may become less and less violent. The evil spirit, when it invades a person's body, must first break down all resistance. This accounts for the different physical manifestations. Then, when this alien force takes control, the physical manifestations diminish or disappear because the evil spirit meets no internal resistance, and is free to manifest itself on a spiritual level. The evil spirit becomes entrenched and the person becomes a compliant tool for the invading spirit.

The Charismatic movement is now several decades old. It promised great revivals and the renewal of the Church(es). Non of these happened. Matter of fact, the world and the churches are rapidly moving away (more than ever) from the Gospel.

We will hold fast on the fact that the Holy Spirit will renew the Church, in His own way and in His own time - through the so called End Time Church and not through the Charismatic movements.

What we need is to live in the wonder of our inheritance:

Christ on the cross has washed us clean from every trace of guilt and ransomed us for God;

The Holy Spirit has poured that love into our hearts;

The Holy Spirit is the joyful reminder of the pure delight of living in the truth of who we are in Christ;

He inspires us to explore the depths of all that.

We have to return to the Biblical principles, that is, there is no revival without:- Repentance (turning to the cross);

- Focusing on Biblical teaching (returning to the Bible);

- Praising God (worship);

- Live in a simple life-stile - this earth is NOT our homeland, we are waiting for our deliverance (fervent expectation of the return of Christ).


The New Wave Movement is based predominantly on emotions and not on biblical truths. This movement fosters unbiblical teachings and avoids the cross, the narrow way (Mt 7,14). Moreover, it splits the church even further.

It is important that Christians wait for the establishment of the End-Time-Church. This Church will be rebuilt by the Holy Spirit on the Twelve Pillars of the End-Time Apostles.


Nicky Gumbel, the man behind the Alpha Course:

Nicky Gumbel is backing Rodney Howard-Browne and his theology. He received the Toronto experience and now spreading it, through his Alpha Course, throughout the world.

We suggest that where many elements of the Alpha Course are undoubtedly Bible based, the final foundation is a belief in the phenomenon and sensation-centered religion of the Toronto Experience. The unquestioning acceptance of unusual manifestations (compare 1 Jn 4 etc.) is unbiblical.

The strive four unity is Biblical but unity must be based on the Truth. When Christian groups, denominations and even churches are amalgamating the question must be: Is this coming from the Holy Spirit? Is this an expression of the will of the Son. Unity is not just useless but it is ungodly

without the Truth. Most preachers of unity are closer to New Age mysticism than to the biblical truth.

Conclusion: The Theology of this movement but also ANY other churches (Pentecostal and Evangelical included) has to be regarded as flowed. The reasons cannot be discussed in this short essay. Read the book "The Witness of the Times;" chapters: The Apostate Churches (p.44) and The Churches (p.85ff).

A few words about the so called "Rhema" Church in Perth WA. This strongly pentecostal church was supporting the Toronto Experience in the past. Within the last year (1997/98), under new leadership, became more moderate, moving rather toward the Baptist movement. It is now totally independent and changed its name to Riverside Community Church.

The Church

The Church is a living organism which knows that her present is rooted in God's past and moves to God's future which is always New Life.

End Times: It points us to a New Future.

At the present time we are living in an In-Between Time: We are neither here nor there - we are leaving the present era but have not yet arrived at the New World which God promised to us: The Kingdom of Christ - His Millennial Kingdom is being prepared.

In-Between times are very difficult times, but they are also very important:

During the in-between period of the wilderness wandering the People of Israel (between the Exodus and entering the Promised Land, around the 13th cent. BC) began to develop its religious and national identity;

In Babylonian Exile, an in-between time, the Jews experienced a strengthening of their religious and national identity;

The Book of Daniel was written in an in-between time. This book provided encouragement to the faithful remnant of Jews to resist the demands of pagan culture and religion;

The life of Jesus was an in-between time - in between the Old and New Testament;

We are living now in an in-between time: The old is passing away and the New is emerging: We are preparing for the Coming of the Christ. The Church of the Christ is being placed back on her original foundations (Eph 4,11). The result will be no doubt the strengthening of the Christian faith, values and life - an absolute necessity for the preparation of the Coming Age of the Christ!

How will this new life in the revigourated Church be? We will lay down our lives. We will be prepared to lose EVERYTHING for Christ's sake in God's ministry...the Cross will regain its original meaning: Every Christian in the End-Time Church will be crucified with Christ.*

* Meditate on the meaning of being crucified. For example, a crucified person has no command of his movements, his life, his will, his future - he can not even move his ligaments..!


There is only One God. We worship this One God in Three Persons.

Worship: Man's response in awe in the presence of the Almighty God. At the heart of Christian worship is that One Almighty God. In order to truly worship two fundamental elements are needed: Revelation, through which God shows Himself to man, and response, through which man responds to God. Worship is not an optional extra for us, but an essential expression of the knowledge of God.

The two most important words for worship in the New Testament are: 1. latreia, that is, service or worship (see Rom 12,1) of the individual Christian and 2. leitourgia, that is, service or worship (see this word occurring in Hebr 10,11) of the congregation.

Jewish synagogue practice of the 1st century, in which our Lord and His disciples shared, have included many features of the OT - singing, reading of the Scripture, prayers (like the Psalms), etc. It is this pattern of worship which was refashioned but not abolished by the impact of the Gospel and evolved into historic Christian practice.

The prayer-life of a Christian takes place in two main areas - in private (latreia) and in public (leitourgia), that is, in the body of Christ, in the church (not necessarily meaning a building), in the gathering of the Saints. One is as important as the other.

There are two extremes to be avoided:

1. A purely formal leitourgia, that is, without a worshipful personal participation of the individual Christian. We have to remember that the Liturgy is not a magic formula and not a mere ritual;

2. An individualistic (latreia) worship. Such individualism has no place in the Church of the Christ.

The two forms of worship has to be meaningfully combined in a true Christian Liturgy.

The Liturgy must be kept simple; not striving for individual "satisfaction". The words and concepts of the Liturgy must be absorbed into our souls and spirit through the Holy Spirit. There is an immense difference between a participation in the Liturgy with the Holy Spirit and without Him in our hearts. Without Him it becomes an empty recitation and with Him it becomes the source of life - it conveys divine life, especially through the Eucharist.

The Liturgy is the Prayer of the Church, the Body and not the individual Christian. The individual Christian must participate in it - become a part of it. This participation can take many forms and the liturgy must encourage this. For example, endorsing time for free prayer, led by the Holy Spirit; time for prophecy and interpretation of prophecy; singing and praying in tongues (interpretation is important); time for discernment; serving as reader during the service; singing in the chore, etc.

The Common Prayers, expressing the intentions and aspirations of the Body, has to be embraced by the individual Christian. This embracing can take different forms: a. Praying the liturgy with understanding and heart, b. uniting ones own intentions with the intentions of the Body, etc. For example, during Communion the intention of the Church (the bride of Christ) is to be one with her Beloved. The individual Christian should also awaken this intention for himself (that is, to be one with his Lord).

In a worship of the Body the emphasis is on the "WE" and not on the "I": "We are the Body of Christ." All the liturgical prayers are in the plural and not in the singular.

The first title of THE FOLLOWING SERIES is "The voices from the East". This series will touch on many subject areas which are, through the New Age movement, more and more in bedded into our western culture and are accepted. In many cases they are `the in thing,' that is, we are not even suppose to question them. Never the less, the matter which we will present here are `occult*' and not of God. They have to be exposed as such! The church is called to be the "salt" (Mt 5,13) of the earth and not the slave of the world, not taking in its ungodly ideas. Unfortunately the church which suppose to be the mouth-peace of God stopped to teach such things which are offensive in the eyes of the humanistic world, so God's cry will be loud again: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hos 4,6).

We have to make some basic decisions before we embark on our new series:

1. Do you believe that there is only ONE God? See Mk 12,29; 1 Cor 8,6.

2 Do you believe that this ONE God manifest Himself in Three Persons? See 2 Cor 13,14.

3. Do you believe that the Bible is God's Book, that is, it is inspired (in its entirety) by the Holy Spirit? See 2 Tim 3,16.

If your answer is No, please, do not read the following series of studies. If your answer is Yes, then you will agree on the following principles, derived from the suggested above mentioned premises:

ad 1. There are no other gods! See 1 Cor 8,4b-6.

ad 2. Any so called god who has not the Son Jesus Christ (see Jn 3,18; Rom 1,2-4) and not the Holy Spirit (see Rom 8,9) is a false god. See Col 1,3; 1 Jn 2,23.

ad 3. Anything which contradicts God's Word has to be exposed, rejected and opposed. See Gal 1,6-9.

* Occult means hidden. In modern theology it is the collective name of all spiritual phenomena which are not of God, that is, satanic in its origin.

There are only two possible spheres in which human beings can live and operate, that is, the divine or satanic spheres. God rejects any human activity which leads away from Him (see Deut 18,10b-12a; 1 Sam 15,23; Gal 5,20; etc. etc.). He is our Creator and will demand from us an absolute loyalty: We cannot serve Him and satan at the same time. See Mt 6,24.

There are many facts we should know in order to recognize satanic work. Some of these facts will be revealed in the coming weeks. Here I wish to mention only one of the most important methods of satan: he seldom works openly, that is, he disguises his efforts behind a truth in a way that the observer will see the truth in foreground and not the lie hidden behind it. One of the most important gift Christians should ask for in our days is the gift of discernment (see 1 Cor 12,10c) - to recognize and distinguish between the divine and the satanic..

I am praying that the Holy Spirit will continually guide you.


Authority is power or right to act, command, enforce obedience or make decisions.

There is only one prime authority, that is, the Authority of God. Every other authority is a delegated one. Therefore the origin of every authority is God.

The spiritual law of delegating authority: There is no horizontal delegation of authority but rather a `vertical-downwards' one: The delegated authority is therefore always "less" (inferior to) than the authority of the delegator. For example an Apostle can never delegate his full authority, that is, he cannot `create' (duplicate) an other apostle. His delegated authority will be `less' than his: He can ordain someone to a bishop, or to a priest or to a deacon. He can also delegate his authority for other purposes, like appointing certain people to teach, to inspect, to...

Everyone is obligated to obey a legitimate authority as long as his/her use of authority is within the divine order. No one may obey an ungodly demand (see Acts 4,19).

An authority is corrupt when obtained illegitimately (usurped) or used other than according to God's will.

Friend or mate?

Every individual has the right and obligation to improve his character, his unique relationship to the Lord. As we live in a society, not on an island by ourselves, our environment, especially our fellow-man, that is, our associations are very important in forming our character.

A friend is a person who has an active part in our development, accompanying us in our journey which leads us closed and closer to our Creator. A good friend is a great treasure (see Prov 27,9; Eccl 6,14-17). A friend let us be ourselves, he treasures us as we are.

A `friend' who leads us away from God is an enemy!

Mate is a companion.

It is important that the widely used expression `mate' is not mixed up with the concept of `friend.'

A mate is a person whose behavior is not to be questioned. One does not correct a mate, one does not `rat' on a mate and even more, one becomes like ones mate! In our society, there is often a solidarity of evil, wretchedness, wrongdoings, etc., disguised under the popular concept of `mate-ship.'

The concept of mate is based on `mutuality.' Mutual obligation, mutual interest, mutual goal, mutual, mutual and mutual again. There is very little, if any at all, of individuality: Individual responsibility*, individual development, etc. We have to remember that a mutual interest, for instance, (not even) in the Church will abolish the individual responsibility of her members. * We are INDIVIDUALLY responsible for our actions before God. We will be individually judged for them.

Looking at it from a balanced view: Individuality and mutuality complement each other in a healthy relationship. One does not erase the other, rather support each other toward a completion. Illustrating this with the church fellowship: The members of the Body of Christ are individually responsible for their development but receive a positive support in their effort from the church-community. The individual Christian, in return, support his fellow Christians (the Body of Christ) in their effort toward continual maturing in the Lord.

A Christian does not have a `mate' he has a friend (!) the greatest of which is Jesus!

The THREE Existence-modes of Christ

The eternal Pre-existence of the Messiah:

1. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (Jn 1,1).

"Before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn 8,58).

"...all things were created through him (Christ) and for him" (Col 1,16b).

2. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1,14).

"For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven ..." (Jn 6,33).

"You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High..." (Lk 1,31-32a).

"...the price of your ransom...was paid, not in anything perishable...but in the precious blood of the blameless and spotless lamb, Christ" (1 Pe 1,18).

3. "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here! He is risen! (Lk 24,5b-6a)

"After he (Jesus) said this, he was taken up before their very eyes" (Acts 1,9a).

"...we have a great High Priest who has gone into heaven, Jesus the Son of God..." (Hebr 4,14).

"...if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ..." (1 Jn 2,1).

"Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him" (Rev 7a).

"...he (Christ) is the one who will rule with an iron scepter..." (Rev 19,15b).

"They (the Saints) came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Rev 20,4d).

"Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead..." (1 Tim 4,1a).

"When all things shall be subdued unto him (Christ), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (Father-God) that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1 Cor 15,28).

" is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End..." (Rev 21,6a).

Pre eminence

Presence is a state of being in a specific place at a given time.

We acknowledge the different (way or quality of) presence of God. For instance, God, as a creator and preserve, is present everywhere - without His presence nothing can exist: God has not just created the world, He also upholds it.

His glory is there where His holiness is revealed: Where His glory is there is His presence, but not everywhere where He is present is His glory also. For instance, God is present in hell but without His glory.

God revealed to us His presence and His glory in Jesus Christ.

The Glory

The essence of God's glory is His holiness and goodness (see Ex 33,18--34,8). The Son in action both embodies and reflects the glory of the Father (see Jn 1,14; Hebr 1,3).

The giving of glory to God in worship is called "doxology" (see Rom 9,5; 11,36; 16,25-27; Eph 3,20-21; Phil 4,20; 1 Tim 1,17;6,16; 1 Pe 4,11; 2 Pe 3,18; Jude 24-25; Rev 1,6;5,13; the Psalms are full of it.

God's goal is to display His moral excellence, that is, His glory, to His creatures. By doing so He evokes their praise (see Eph 1,3) for what they experience. The doxology of God brings infinite benefits for His creation.

Man's goal in all his actions must be God's glory in the sense of doxology by word and deed.

God so made us that we find the duty of doxology to be our supreme delight and in that way the furthering our own highest good: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever.

In Christ

The centrality of Jesus Christ: To be IN Christ is to have a totally new world view, a new way of

living and a new standard of personal faith and conduct. Everything changes when we become members of His Body.

Being in Christ or Christ being in someone means a spiritual unity (union). This unity comes into being through baptism in water and in the Spirit. Being in Christ means to be acceptable by God, that is, to be saved.

Because God is in Christ (see 2 Cor 5,19), everyone who is in Christ is also in God.

We are saved in hope (see Rom 5,1-11;8,24), but the reality of salvation is already present: The Spirit that was promised is already possessed, as "fist fruits" (Rom 8,23), by the Christian who from now on lives IN Christ (see Rom 6,11), as Christ lives IN him (see Gal 2,20).

Rom 6,3;8,1;12,5; 1 Cor 1,2; 2 Cor 12,2; Gal 3,28; 1 Thess 2,14, etc.

Christ in you, in me, in us:

Rom 8,10; 2 Cor 13,3.5; Gal 2,20;4,19, etc.


on a human level is an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons or parties.

In the Bible:

A concept of fundamental importance.

The covenants are started with God's declaration, "I will establish my covenant" (see Gn 6,18; Ex 6,4-5). In this level (between God and man) the covenant is one-sided and reflects the unconditional character of election. God promises to be ever faithful to His covenant (see Lev 26,44-45; Deut 4,31).

The essence of God's covenant is captured in the summary promise, "I will be your God and you shall be my people" (see Gn 17,7; Ex 6,7; 2 Cor 6,16-18; Rev 21,2-3).

While the covenant is unilateral in establishment, it is mutual or two-sided in accomplishment. This underlines the importance of personal engagement (sanctification and perseverance). God commands His people to keep the covenant through love and obedience (see Deut 7,9.12; 1 Ki 8,23). The law and the entire worship system of Israel were related to the covenant (see Ex 24,7-8;31,16;34,28).

Although there are several covenants in the OT, they must be considered as one covenant (see Ex 2,24;6,4-5; Lev 26,42; 2 Ki 13,23, etc.).

The OT holds out the hope of a coming era when a New Covenant will be granted by God (see Is 55,3;59,21;; Jer 31,31-40; Ez 20,37, etc.).

The distinction between the Old and the New Covenant comes from the Scriptures themselves (see Jer 31,31-32; 2 Cor 3,3-6.14; Hebr 8,8-9, etc.). Both are the same in substance in that they contain God's promise that He will be the God of His People (see 2 Cor 6,16-18; Hebr 8,10; Rev 21,2-3) by redeeming them in Christ (see Jn 8,56; Rom 9,3-5; 1 Cor 10,1-4). Yet, the New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant (Hebr 7,20-22.28;8,6), hence the covenants differ in the way they are administered by God (see Gal 3,23-25;4,1-7). In this sense the New Covenant displaces the Old Covenant (see Hebr 8,13;10,9).

Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebr 9,15;12,24) and the source of all the New Covenant's blessings (see 1 Cor 1,30; Eph 2,11-22; Hebr 13,20-21).

The chief benefits of the New Covenant are justification (act of justifying; being justified) and sanctification [act of sanctification, made holy] (see Hebr 8,10-12;10,15-18;13,20-21).

The curses associated with violating the New Covenant are more severe than those of the Old (see Hebr 10,28-29).

The under aged* children of Christians are under the protection of the covenant entered into by their parents (see 1 Cor 7,14). After they become of age they have to make their own decision for Christ in order to belong to this covenant.

* In the Old Covenant, the coming of age defined as age 12. One of the important differences between the Old and New Covenant is that the members of the New Covenant have to make a personal decision in order to belong to this Covenant. Jesus put it this way: "Whoever believes and is baptized** will be saved..." Mk 16,16. A full decision (fully understanding what is it all about and believing in it) is hardly possible before the above mentioned age.

** Baptism in water AND in the Spirit (see Jn 3,5) is necessary to belong to this New Covenant.

Do we value our freedom of worship?

A story of a 12 years old

The day began very early, 2 am. Everything seemed to be so quiet as we left the house. The white snow reflected the light of the cloudless night. Some dogs were barking in the distance.

Two grown ups and three children were pushing their way through deep snow in the forest. After several hours of walking in bitter cold, suddenly the deserted forest became alive. Dark figures emerged from every direction; moving toward a natural opening in the forest. When we got there the open space was already filled with people. We stopped behind them under the snow covered trees. Looking up with my twelve-years-old eyes I fancied I saw the white dome of a cathedral decorated with sparkling ice crystals reflecting the myriad stars above them.

The focal point of the gathering was a hastily assembled log altar standing in the midst of this impressive Temple of God. The service began while still more people were emerging from the dark background. Brothers and Sisters in Christ were gathering to worship their Savior.

In the great silence of this night prayers were said; soft singing hummed, sounding like the subdued roaring of the sea. The air was filled with awe...the Savior was present!

Suddenly a sharp whistle pierced this awesome Presence. Spotlights stabbed in from all directions. Shouts...words of command filled the air. We grasped each other's hands and the words was whispered, "Secret Police!"

Soldiers appeared, emerging as from nowhere. Kicking, pushing us, shouting, "Christians move!" We were pushed into army trucks. As the convoy started to move somebody began to sing the song "The Savior is here..." The melody spread from truck to truck. The night was filled with the praise of God. The Red Army convoy became the envoy of God's message.

We spent a day in a military camp; praying most of the time...we were interrogated. Looking back at this event the most beautiful experience was that we all had only one name - "Christian!"

A biography with a difference

The usual way to handle such an essay is to tell you about birth date and place, great achievements (if any), to bore you with all kinds of usually unimportant details. I would like to do it another way.

I grew up in a country where to be a church-going person (as we were) was not just not the `in thing' but rather the cause of losing one's job, ruining one's future academic or other plans - I grew up in the `womb' of the Persecuted Church.

My `religious' upbringing, even under these circumstances, did not spare me the agony of searching for values, that is, values which were `discovered' by me and by which I could live. During the years of searching, working in a factory, escaping my home-land, studying engineering, I felt more and more the call to serve the church exclusively.

Everything I had DONE during these `searching years' to arrive at the knowledge of the truth* had been DONE in secret. I had often dreamed about the `free world' and how happy the people must be for they were allowed to seek this truth. My first great disappointment in this `free world' was the realization that most people did not even try to learn to live in that truth and much less did they wish to love it. Most of them appeared to be prisoners of their own `freedom.' The growing love for this truth and this disappointment helped ME to MAKE MY DECISION - I left my engineering study and began to prepare for the Ministry.

* As I see it now, the "truth" which I had found and for which I was willing to commit myself, was the church.

MY theological studies at the University were followed by the study of education in the USA and other related studies in Switzerland.

MY working years in the USA were spent mostly in academic teaching and pastoral work; in Switzerland with Christian counseling; in Australia with pastoral work mostly at a parish level.

I do not know whether you noticed (I tried to make it as obvious as possible) that in the preceding paragraphs I was DOING all the `work': I told you what I have done, what I have studied and worked. If this article would not have been written in English, where the `I' is capitalized (no other language I know of does this), this egocentricity would have been even more visible by capitalizing the `I.'

At this point, there is an important truth which I wish to share with you: My traditional so called Christian upbringing has given me a fervent religious heart but NOT a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In the center of my heart was an organization, called the church and NOT the Son of God. I became a priest trusting in my own works and values but not in Jesus.

Let me explain to you what I mean: Religion is, man reaching out to God, trying to obtain His acceptance through works of his own; Christianity is, God reaching out to man: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3,16). There is NO other way to the Father but through Jesus Christ (see Jn 14,6). In God's eyes, we are all sinners (see Rom 2,23): There is NO such a thing as a `good man'* and there is NO way for us to `work' ourselves into acceptance by God. But this is exactly what I believed: I thought that I was a good man and with my abilities could bring people into the church (and not to Jesus). I was ego- and church-centered and not God centered. It took God eight years (after my ordination into the priesthood) to bring me on my knees. My spiritual pride was enormous! But the Lord conquered me by bringing me trough an experience which showed me that I am nothing without Him. My prideful life brought me low and almost destroyed me. Here I was ready to receive what HE wanted to give me and not what I wanted... After acknowledging my sins and accepting His Son, God gave me His Spirit! After eight years of being a priest, I became a Christian! Now God could use me according to His will and He did! No